Are you getting bored yet? This day that I will be talking about is Sunday. Lots and lots of photos from Sunday, so I’m going to split it up into two posts. Is that okay? I’ll work on the next one tomorrow.
The first part of Sunday was church. Church is an OCCASION in Haiti. People dress in their very best clothes for church. Their hair is done, their skin is powdered and they are clean. People are not allowed in the churches unless they have dress clothes and close toed shoes on. It is a culture thing apparently, but something that disturbed me greatly. So many people cannot even afford to clothe or put shoes on their children at all, much less get a frilly dress or get some long pants or dress shoes. Sigh.
We were up early. As I’ve mentioned before, Haiti is a noisy country. I slept fitfully every night I was there. It was very very hot, even with the fan blowing near me on high. After tossing and turning all night, I eventually just got up. We all got around for church, dressing in nicer clothing. The sun was barely up when we left the compound on foot to walk into town to go to the church. We were some of the first ones there; quite early. We stood outside the gate and talked with each other and people watched. I wandered a bit and snapped some photos. So much beauty in so much poverty.
These are all a mishmash of film and digital.
The first photo of the day. Our team before we head for church, holding the prayer blanket that a wonderful organization out of Toledo, called Quilts of Compassion provided for us, along with the blankets that we gave to the patients in the hospital.
The church our teams attend in Dessalines.
Toilets behind the church.
Schoolhouses behind the church.
Inside of schoolroom:
Children in Haiti come out of the woodwork when you’re holding a camera. Most of the time it’s the only time they have ever seen themselves, when they look at their photo on the back of your digital camera. It really freaked them out when I used my film camera and there was no screen on the back
I went back in front of the church and quietly took some more photos. I just loved this. Haitians use cacti as a security gate to keep animals (goats and pigs…dogs) and other people out. I’m sure it works well!
There were many many towns children getting water that morning.
I caught this handsome little man getting ready to go into the church:
As we were all standing outside a young man came up to us and started to speak to Jamie about playing guitar. He left and within minutes came back with a guitar. Jamie had said casually that he played so he went and found a guitar because he wanted to hear Jamie play. Jamie does play well but this boy is truly talented. (Jamie, you’re talented too, but you said yourself you can’t play much bwahaha!) They would each play something while the other would listen and then the other one would try to play what they just heard. So much fun. We were standing in front of the church on the street playing music and singing songs. So beautiful. I hope I captured these photos right. Jamie hated being put on the spot and play but he did so well, we were all so proud of him.
People were starting to really show up for church so I just tried to pay attention and get photos when I could. This has got to be the chubbiest baby in Haiti, isn’t he adorable??
Beautiful little boy
While all this was going on, there were two little boys that lived next to the church that kept coming near us and near the gates. The little one was shy and would giggle and look away when I tried to take some photos but I caught some nice ones. He just had a long shirt on and his shoes were at least 2 sizes too small for him.
Then it was time for church. We filed in and Rob sat in the front while the rest of us sat in the second row. The pews are narrow benches and not comfortable. The music started and then the speaking started. I had no clue what was being said but the music….oh the music. I wish I could take a photo of what the music sounded like. The women got up in front of the church…maybe 8 of them, and sang. Crystal clear voices. They sang with motion and movement. I could have listened to them for hours. Here is a pastor praying at the beginning of the service.
The children were soon squeezed around us and on us. Jamie sat with an older girl who wanted to learn some English from him from the Bible. I had 3 little girls on me. A little boy behind me rubbed my back. They just can’t keep their hands away from my hair and skin At one point while I had my arm around two younger girls, I felt one of them lick me. Yes, they licked my arm. The second time I had to scold them and they thought that was hilarious. So funny. A little boy came and sat uncertainly on my lap and sat for a long while. The teachers from the schools come to church and keep the kids in line. It’s amazing how they maintain order! Those kids will sit for hours in church with minimal disturbances.
Church was over and we presented a prayer blanket to a pastor at the church. They were so impressed and thankful, and hung it over the railing in the front.
Some of the children that sat with me during the service.
Some girls that I wanted to capture. Their dresses, socks and shoes….it was how all the little girls dressed.
Some more of the kids.
Stay tuned, this was just from the morning. We did lots on this day, it was a day for us to do whatever we wanted…and we did a lot. A lot of sightseeing and more snuggles (and goodbyes) to the children at the orphanage. Lots more photos to share. As always…I love reading your comments. It so warms my heart to know that I am reaching people and touching their hearts. It makes me hopeful that I’m helping…in my own little way.