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Saturday, March 19, 2011

One last look at Haiti

Hello everyone, it’s Maria again. The internet is actually working quite well at the moment so I’m going to type fast. The original plan for this morning was to go through the National Museum in Port-au-Prince and then see more of the city throughout the day. As it is in Haiti, we faced some challenges, but nothing that we couldn’t handle.

The Presidential Palace virtually untouched since the Earthquake.

A painting of how the palace looked pre-quake.

First stop was the museum, except that it was closed today. We are assuming it’s because of the elections tomorrow-no big deal. In the same area as the museum are the presidential palace and an independence monument that just happens to be a 200 stair tower. Our second idea was to climb the tower to get some great pictures of the city (in case we didn’t have enough already). It turns out there is a key you must get to unlock the gate to climb the tower. After driving around and waiting for about 25 minutes Gens found out the person who usually has the key wasn’t in today. As Gens said “the election is against us”.

Luckily we are good at improvising and Gens was able to tell us some history of Haiti while showing us some statues of past presidents. It ended up being an interesting experience because the statues are in the middle of what used to be parks before the earthquake. The parks are now tent cities, where it is estimated that 1 million people, ¼ of the city’s population, still live. I’ve heard about the tent cities through the news but actually walking through the maze of tents touches your heart in a different way. I felt like we were walking though people’s front yards just to take a few pictures.

Over lunch we asked Gens to tell his story of the earthquake. Again, hearing about it on the news is a lot different than hearing it from someone you have become friends with. The thing is, if we wouldn’t have asked Gens to share, he probably wouldn’t have brought it up. The Haitians aren’t trying to take advantage of their situation. I’ve realized this week that Haitians are proud people and they just want us to learn more about who they are.

A wedding party passed us on the road today.  The photographer was in the back with the groomsmen.

On top of their other responsibilities, these groomsmen were transporting the cake!  Not sure I would want that job on these roads!

Nathan was stuck in the back of the Honda and decided to try to nap on the way home. It was a bumpy ride!

I realize this blog is bittersweet as our time in this amazing country is winding down. We are all trying to process the many experiences we’ve had as we say good-bye to new friends. One thing is certain though: this trip has been a blessing to everyone on the team and God is using it to teach us how to be better servants.

God Bless and Boiler Up!
Maria Cranor

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