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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Always Plan for a Change of Plans in Haiti

Michele, Lui, and I at the Land

This past Saturday marked the arrival of Dan Hildebrand, the individual that will be responsible for constructing the EcoShells for the H.E.R.O. Residence for Street Children and Orphans. We immediately set out on Sunday morning for Petite-Riviere de Nippes. We had received news that the Catholic Church had some additional land they wanted to donate to H.E.R.O. We arranged to stay overnight at the Manolo Inn, meet with some local contractors, and return Monday morning. Well, nothing turned out as planned, it turned out even better!

We drove into the dusty town of Petite-Riviere de Nippes at 2:00 PM, just in time for the axle to disengage from our tire, the car failing us right in front of Manolo Inn. I had been given the contact number for Father Rebecca, the priest of this area, and I informed him of our breakdown. He immediately came to pick us up, told us we were not staying at the Manolo Inn, but instead would be his guest at the church! His protégé, Willy, threw our bags in the back of the car, and away we went! We arrived at the church to a table set for the four of us, Bris, Dan Hildebrand, Michele, and I, with a spread of local chicken, beet salad, rice, and French fries. What a treat! Father Rebecca, who I have never met before, treated us like family. Immediately after lunch we hopped in the car to see the land. Of course, we had to stop by the soccer field first, just for a few minutes to let Father Rebecca kick the soccer ball around with the secondary school kids, and then we were off. We arrived at the land site, confused to see about 20 locals waiting for us! Father Rebecca had arranged for us to meet the community members, to walk around the land, and to have a conversation about the possibility of constructing a residence for orphans on this particular site. There is still much decision making to be had, but we were all in disbelief at the amazing hospitality that was provided to us.

A Class of 77 Students

After dinner, and a good sleep, we woke up Monday morning to a wonderful breakfast.  Father Rebecca greeted us and then invited us down to the church where he was hosting the Monday morning assembly for the entire 300 secondary school student body.  He proceeded to invite each one of us up, Bris, Michele, Dan, and I, to give a short speech in English, to everyone’s amusement.  He then asked us to help pass out school supplies including rulers, pens, and pencils.  After the secondary school students were dismissed, we were marched over to the primary school, where we were introduced to each classroom (including a class of 77 first graders), and again we passed out school supplies.  While we could have stayed for the entire week with Father Rebecca and his wonderful hosting skills, alas, we had to return to Port-au-Prince for some additional H.E.R.O. duties. 
Passing Out School Supplies

The lesson to take from this weekend was that despite your best plans in Haiti, they will always change.  None of this weekend was planned, but we enjoyed being hosted by an incredible individual, Father Rebecca, looked at an amazing plot of land, and were grateful for the opportunity to pass out school supplies to the students.  Haiti is wonderful!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Kirby,
    You ROCK! Congrats to you for all your major accomplishments.