Woke up at about 6:00 and took a walk down by the ocean. Out onto the pier and saw a bunch of fish – including one of the pretty but invasive lion fish. The water is very clear but there is a lot of trash in it. There were several fishing boats – one being rowed pulling up a fishing line that had put out t enight before. Another man in a handmade boat paddled by dropping crab traps with coke bottle floats. a Chatted a bit then off to breakfast – omelets, papaya, oatmeal, and banana.
We then (mostly) piled into the van and drove off to the Missions of Grace orphanage to deliver the medical supplies we brought and pass out clothing, toys, and other things for the kids. We checked on a couple kids with severe problems – one with Down’s syndrome and another with severe issues, plus the kid with the broken leg. The kids seemed to really like the bubbles we brought, but most got spilled. There was also a mural of a white Jesus ministering to both white and black kids.
Then off to the old age home – a couple buildings (rented) where there were two guys – one in his 80s and another about 25 who had polio (they think) and could not use his legs. Seemed quite the bright guy but had nothing to do. There were also about five women – most quite elderly (late 80s) and one woman much younger in her 30s who had severe development issues as well as being deaf. We had an amplifier with earphones that seemed to work for her very well.
The compound wasn’t great – clean though. Dogs, chickens, and goats all around. A couple of lizards showed up as well. One woman who worked there was doing laundry but didn’t want her picture took. Another of the ladies insisted on kissing me on the cheeks. The mission has plans to build a separate compound in the next year and increase the number of residents to 20 – 10 males, 10 females.
Back to the hotel we packed up and headed down the National Highway to Port au Prince. Being Saturday we were delayed in every town we passed through as the markets were quite active. In some places we had to stop completely as the road was so narrow only one lane of traffic (plus motos) could pass at a time. Very festive. We also saw the first white person outside of our group and the missions/hotels we were in.
We arrived in Port around 3:00 and went (after quite some confusion about where to go and some pretty narrow and rutted streets) to the “Aparent Project” – a group that gets young men and women to make crafts and sells them in the store to make money to send their kids to school, clothing, etc. Each worker sets their own price for the goods. There was also some of the normal things that can be found all over – paintings, tin work (from oil drums), and so on.
Finally got to our hotel. It used to be a home for boys – “St. Joseph’s School for Boys” - but some political issues made them close it down, so now it serves as just an hotel. We were told what rooms were available and we sorted ourselves out into three rooms – bunk beds in most. Rooms are OK but no Ac – spoiled last night I guess.
We looked around the place – changed quite a bit from the last time Kitty was here. The old dining room was covered in dust and bird droppings. Some very well done art and sculptures all covered in dust – and the dining room table still set. We found out later that it was “off limits” as part of some investigation. We also chatted with a guy who was making up the room who said he would bring back some crafters with masks, Voodoo stuff and other handicrafts for us to look at.
When we went out in the open area about six well made up and dressed women were waiting – and a few minutes later they disappeared. A bit after dinner the emerged and left… In any event we went up to the top of the tower with a wonderful view of the city. There was similar tower here prior to the big earthquake but now it is a basketball court. Plenty of comfy chairs and a roof plus a very nice breeze. We saw some kids on one of the rooftops was flying what looked like a homemade kite. Lots of people on the roofs.
After another cold shower we got together for dinner – beef, broccoli, boiled potatoes, and a nice salad with cookies for dessert. There were several other folks who joined us but after dinner the team retreated to the rooftop with a case of Prestige.