After packing up our things, we stopped by College Harry Brakeman, which is a local Methodist school. Students in grades kindergarten through 13 gathered to sing morning songs and to raise the flag. Teams from Resurrection have worked at the school on past trips, and it was nice to see the campus and the new high school rooms that Resurrection helped to make a reality. These new rooms allowed Brakeman to increase the capacity of the school by 200 students. Rudy Sr. commented that this result demonstrates the positive outcomes of Resurrection projects.
We then loaded up and headed out of Petit Goâve toward Port au Prince. The trip typically takes about 2.5 hours, but due to traffic it took a bit longer. This delay gave us the opportunity to truly experience the pulse of life in the heart of the city. Traffic lanes don’t really exist in Port au Prince, so street vendors weave in and out of cars selling their wares which include lots of l’eau (water) and all sorts of food. Busses, Tap Tap trucks (sort of a Haitian taxi – imagine a pickup truck with a brightly decorated cover that has rudimentary seats attached), cars, and large delivery trucks all fight for space on the street. As we sat and waited, we saw children greeting their parents after school let out, men repairing tires, people sweeping the street, women hoisting large purchases atop their heads, people hanging their laundry to dry, and all sorts of other urban activities. On a regular drive in, we would have missed these small details. What could have been an irritation, actually turned into an opportunity for us to witness the true culture of the city. Many of us remarked during our evening debrief that we learned much about Port au Prince from viewing it through this more focused lens. This experience also allowed us to compare what we were seeing to what we had just left in rural Ravine Seche. Wes, our liaison with Heart to Heart mentioned that two Haitis exist – Port au Prince and then everywhere else in Haiti. Our team certainly witnessed this dichotomy.
Once we arrived in Port au Prince, we grabbed a quick bite to eat at a restaurant that offered some American fare. We then stopped by Papillon, a local craft boutique that supports Haitian women, so we could purchase gifts. Our evening ended at the Heart to Heart guest house with an amazing meal. We were sad to say goodbye to our translator, Rodney, with whom we formed a special friendship.