We began our day with a tour of Jeremie – seeing the people along the streets selling and buying goods, all the way down to the dock. There was a ship that had just come in with bags and bags of cement mix, so many of the men were eager to help unload and wheel the bags to their destinations.
Dou Dou pointed out some flat boats made out of what looked like large reeds that had docked to the side of the river leading into the Atlantic. These boats are made in the mountains by villagers who pick plantain and float down the river to Jeremie to sell. However, the flat boats never make it back up b/c they are too big. The villagers go back up the mountain after they sell their goods and do it all over again!
After our tour of Jeremie, we enjoyed the rest of the morning at the beach. Max went with us, so as we enjoyed the cool ocean water, we asked questions about Haiti’s government since they have a relatively new president, Michel Joseph Martelly, also known by his stage name “Sweet Micky.” Along with being president, Martelly is a former musician and businessman. Max shared with us the progress in Haiti she has seen and heard about since Martelly took office about a year ago. Nevertheless, the progress is slow, but it made us feel good to know that she believes it’s a step in the right direction for Haiti.
Our afternoon was devoted to the orphans, since we would leave the next morning. Naturally, it was a tough day. We witnessed several of the older kids already distance themselves from us, leading us to believe they were guarding their feelings. A few of the older girls asked me about the next group of LHBC members to arrive. Knowing there would be some more visitors seemed to make them feel better about our departure. The younger kids seemed to be especially clingy to us, which was understandable, so we poured on some extra TLC. 😉 The most difficult part was that our time was suddenly cut short.
One of the ESMI staff, “Jean-Claude” was in a motorcycle accident just down the road from the orphanage. He had collided with a girl who was driving on the wrong side of the road, and he suffered head trauma and a broken arm. Jean-Claude is a close friend to Pastor Dony & Dou Dou. His head injuries were more serious than the Jeremie hospital could handle. Dou Dou would have to transport Jean-Claude to Les Cayes where the medical help is more equipped to take care of Jean-Claude.
Our good-byes were sad, but it was still sweet to hear the orphans sing and pray over us before we left. Once we were in the van, we prayed over Dou Dou for Jean-Claude’s healing. We could tell Dou Dou was eager to get to the hospital. Our team continued to pray over Jean-Claude that evening on into the morning. We enjoyed our last meal at Pastor Doni’s home and started packing, as we would leave the next morning. Over the course of the evening, we shared with each other what was going through our hearts with what we had experienced that week. Several of us vowed to come back soon – some of the youth even wanted to come back during their Spring break next year, thinking of friends and family that they might take with them! We were all changed and look forward to how the Lord will speak to us in the wake of our experience in Jeremie, Haiti.