Sunday, October 29, 2006

Oct. 27 - Field Trip to St. George's Beach

St. George’s Field Trip


Today Paul took his class on a field trip to St. George’s beach, east of Cayes. This is the site where Judy Foster wants to build an orphanage. Twenty students piled into Judy’s Toyota van and Kelly’s Toyota truck along with the six of us who are ‘blans’. We had a beautiful 1 hour trip through beautiful coastal country. Pastor Etienne drove Judy’s van and Paul drove Kelly’s truck so that she could ride in the back with the Haitian students. Troy and Grace, a missionary couple staying with Judy, came with us. He’s a professional photographer, so we’re anxious to see his photos.

Paul had the students collect marine specimens from the barrier beach, then from the fringe reef, then the mangrove swamp on the back of the property, and finally from the sea grass beds. Most of the students were very engaged and hadn’t ever looked at marine life like that. They were a little squeamish holding sea urchins, but before long they had collected little jelly fish and hermit crabs in plastic ziplock bags.

Judy had a surprise for everyone; she’d had a local cook make a rice and beans with fish hot meal for all of us. She dished it up from the back of her truck – huge platefuls that the local kids ate the remains of. Paul Rudenberg showed up late for lunch, but was there in time to take a swim.

We spent about 3.5 hours at the beach before we returned to campus so the kids could get to their 4 o’clock classes.

As soon as we got back, Paul, Kelly and I headed back out to the market to buy metal art. We found a beautiful sun piece for Paul’s office and a painted colorful tree with birds for $230 HD – about $30 US, which is a good deal for both of us. We only bartered once for a little price reduction. After that Kelly took us up to Cite Lumiere for a tour of the place and then to Center Lumiere, a crafts center started by Germans about 20 years ago. There they teach young Haitian women to embroider and crochet. Their products are top quality and the handwork is exquisite. I bought some gifts for people back home.

Marie made pizza for dinner. At 8:00 we had a meeting with Grenn Moutad, but first we went down to the outdoor classroom where they were rehearsing praise music for Sunday. The setting was beautiful in the tropical night with just one soft light burning and their shapes outlined as they raised their hands in praise singing “Majesty”.

Prycille drove up on the back of a motorcycle with a chocolate cake she had just baked (still warm) and icy cold fresh limeade, for a party with us. It was so yummy! Amoce showed us his plans for an outhouse project at Warf Massey where he lives. Amoce likes to think big – he had a budget of $24,000 US for 50 outhouses. We talked about the project for a while and suggested he start a pilot project with one or two so that he would then have photos to show for additional fund-raising. In retrospect I think we should encourage him to involve the local people in the construction also, so that they have some ownership of it. It would also be free labor. Grenn Moutad are a wonderful group of young people with a heart to serve their Haitian brothers and sisters.

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