February 28, 2016
There has been a Haitian miracle!!!!! Maybe it is the company of all our friends or maybe it is the beautiful day we spent at Grand Goave. Maybe it is swimming in the ocean or the delicious lunch of goat and swordfish with plantains and beet salad we had at The New Palms Hotel.
To be honest, the day started out rocky. At 6:30 this morning we started out walking about ¼ mile from our guest house in FSIL to church at St. Croix. The walk started out OK, early morning noises (roosters on steroids), avoiding puddles after a much-needed rain storm during the night, and some leftover folks who had been celebrating RaRa all night thru the streets of Leogane. Halfway to our destination there was a large (huge) group of people blocking the street. It was the end of the RaRa celebration. RaRa is a moving, musical, sea of people that sing and chat and play music thru the streets of Leogane, all night. Yup, you heard me correctly, all night. It starts around Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter. Our guide Donell and his wife Janet decided it wasn’t a great idea to merge into the crowd so we turned back and returned to the FSIL. The crazy part is Donell was to be the celebrant at mass this morning. Fr. Chris was kind enough to do a service for us back at FSIL. All ended well: about three hours later we were able to walk from FSIL to Hospital St. Croix. Maybe the RaRa enthusiasts were home recharging their batteries for tonight (can you say earplugs).
It was a wonderful day and a great night spent with new and old friends. We were hosted for dinner with the Winchester folks at their guest house at Hospital St. Croix. Dinner was a creole specialty of spicy slaw, rice and pigeon peas, meat (maybe goat, maybe beef), plantains, and avocados.
So where is the Haitian miracle you say? Well, it was really a Michelle Haitian miracle. At the end of the night we landed back at our guest house. We asked our house mother (really not a mother at all, a lovely graduate of FSIL from the class of 2015, Olpha) if there were any TV channels of American television. She started flipping the screen and then there it was . . . right in front of my eyes . . . THE ACADEMY AWARDS!!! In English! I still can’t believe it. It is going to be a good week; stay tuned.