So I have realized that there is a lot about the everyday life and culture here and that I have yet to talk about. There is so much I could talk about, but no matter how many pictures I show and no matter how much detail I describe, I feel like no one will understand fully what it is like to be here. However I will do my best to explain things as best as I can.
There are some times that walking around Haiti, and driving through the slums of the city feels so surreal.. Having grown up in a state with a struggling economy, and a state where there are many crime infested cities, I thought I understood a little bit of the darker sides of life.. Indeed, being here has shown me that even the worst cities back in the states are so much more (at least materially)prosperous then here!
However there is a lot about Haiti that is so much more comfortable then in the US. For example, the people here are in general extremely friendly to a stranger, whereas at home people often completely ignore strangers in public places, and are much more apt to be rude to you if they don't know you.. Granted there are people here and there with a negative perspective on Blancs(white people), but for the most part people here are very respectful and kind.
Me and Dinecia had a conversation last night about her family, Haiti, and the deeply ingrained practice of voudo(voodoo) in the Haitian culture. She told me that as a child her mother used to force her to see a voudo priest often, and she said a lot of her family still practices it, such as her father who she said is often taken over by spirits when he attends the voudo meetings.. We talked for a long time about spiritual warfare, and our own thoughts and experiences. She explained that in Haiti voudo is something that is never advertised, and is often kept under wraps, but almost everyone at some point gets involved with it. She told me how many "christians" in Haiti often to go church, and then secretly also practice voudo. It is so sad to think of the hidden darkness looming over this country that is beyond what is seen by my eyes.
Though these are a thoroughly broken people, I wont give up on them! I know God can transform even the darkest places on earth. There is no corner of this world that cannot be reached and touched my our MIGHTY omnipresent God!
At this point I have taken probably around 200 pictures of the city around me and of some of the amazing people I have had the blessing to know. Here are a few more..
This is a taptap! They are basically Haitian taxis, and they are EVERYWHERE! A lot of times they have either American rappers, or bible verses painted on them. hehe!
These street markets line the roads. Everything you buy, you have to barter for.. I am still working on my bartering abilities. ;)
Here is the tent, where kids meet for school until we finish the school building and where we take breaks during the day. Also we met here for church on Sunday.
One of 1500 tent cities here in Port Au Prince.
Here is yours truly welding the day away!
Here is Me, The missionaries, and the group of Haitians that we have been working with. Behind us is the school which is well on its way to completion.
Also, if any of you are interested, here is the missionaries blog, if you are interested in their perspective of what is happening.. http://rfmcteamhaiti.blogspot.com/
Please continue to hold me and everyone here in your prayers!
Love you guys!