Sunday, March 13, 2011

Haiti - The Arrival

View Faith In Action - Verrettes, Haiti in a larger map
When we arrived into the town of Verette, it was dark and to me, a little scary.  My brain was still adjusting to what I was seeing.  Tin roof cinder block houses instead of 2 story colonials.  People of a different color, culture and language and no one that I really knew, except Bill, whom I'd had 12 hours that day to get to know him.
Bill wanted to surprise Limene (Tom's semi adopted daughter.  More on her later) .  They dropped Bill off at a neighbor's house and I showed up on my own.  I met Tom's wife Ficilta Limene and a host of other people that were there visiting.  I could tell Limene was disappointed that it was just me.

Haiti - 1648

Bill walked in a few minutes later and surprised Limene and everyone was thrilled to see him.  I was taking all this in, standing there listening to everyone speak Creole, sitting around as one of the only white people in the city, seeing barbed wire on top of the wall and about everything that could be different, was different. 

Even though I couldn't understand what was being said by anyone but Tom and Bill, everyone was very welcoming.  Half of the guys were wearing red shirts and explained to Tom that it was red shirt day and how could he not know.  Tom and Ryan put their shirts on to complete the red experience.
Haiti - 1653
The only thing I had that was red was my hat.  I had the chance to meet Obenes (aka le profesor) who later became my Creole teacher.  More on him later.
Haiti - 1654Haiti - 1655
We sat down to a great dinner that Ficilta (Tom's wife) made and I had a chance to get to know the whole group.  The whole day went by pretty quickly but I felt incredibly welcomed by everyone I met.  I knew that this was going to be a crazy week and I sensed that I wouldn't return the same.

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