Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Visit to Cange

What an amazing past few days I’ve had!  This week our site visit brought Kelsey and me into the Haitian mountains to Cange to work with one of the satellite schools of Holy Trinity.  

After a car ride up and down a long and winding road (cue Beatles song) you arrive in Cange.  We stayed and worked at the Zanmi Lasante (Partners in Health) campus.  As you can see the view from the guest house was absolutely breathtaking!

After getting settled into our room we walked up the hill to meet the students we would be helping.  We were given a warm welcome overflowing with gratitude for our presence in Cange.  

The next morning we got up bright and early to start our day filled with music.  My morning consisted of woodwind sectionals, brass sectionals, group flute lessons, and a sectional with the beginning clarinet students.  I even had the opportunity to meet Père Lafontant, the Episcopal priest who is the founding director of Zanmi Lasante.

In the afternoon, we had full ensemble rehearsal (after a quick jaunt into the church since there’s an early evening thunderstorm almost everyday).  It was a great feeling getting to direct a band again, especially one filled with such eager and enthusiastic students.  

The next day was filled again with morning rehearsals, but my favorite moment was the flute lesson that I taught to one of the older students.  He sought me out the day before to ask for a flute lesson (which he was willing to do even if it meant having it at 7am!).  We sat together and worked on scales and music.  I didn’t teach him anything different than what I used to work on with my students at home, but to him that lesson was a priceless opportunity.  These students have a passion for music and thirst for knowledge that is truly inspirational.  Afterwards, he kindly thanked me for my time in Cange; to these students it meant so much to have us there, even for just a few days. 

Again in the afternoon we had full ensemble rehearsal and it was amazing to hear the improvement the students accomplished in just two days.  In the evening, we were invited to a thank you concert from the students.  It was a fantastic performance filled with the spirit that exudes from these young musicians.  

Today we took a moment to walk up to the top of the campus and the view (as you can see again) was spectacular.  Cange really is a must see if one ever visits Haiti; it’s a beautiful place.

On our walk back down the mountain, we ran into the students getting ready for a funeral performance.  It was sad to say goodbye to these new friends because I will definitely miss them.  But as the students taught me in one of my impromptu Creole lessons, “Byenvini pa mi nou.”  It means welcome among us, which I feel they genuinely did and always will.   

If you would like to learn more about Zamni Lasante, you can visit their site 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ashley,
    I am Guy Buckmaster and I will be in Port au Prince beginning Friday, November 30th. I am great grandson of Bishop Carson (Haiti 1923 through 1943 - buried on alter of Holy Trinity). I would enjoy a short chat when I get to Haiti. I have some instruments that maybe we could find of interest - not orchestra instruments - guitars and percussion type instruments, so I wish to discuss. I am founder of Heart For Haiti Foundation ( You can see a short video regards some work in Haiti an benefit concert series for Ybor City Tamp, FL You can email me at and text my phone at 727-656-0242. Bless you for your Heart For Haiti and your gifts of the Spirit shared amongst Father God's children.