Sunday, September 30, 2012

Gonaïves, Gros-Morne & Port-de-Paix, oh my!

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been here a month!  Time is really flying by here in Haiti.  This past week was no different, as Kelsey and I traveled to three different towns in northern Haiti.

The purpose of our trip this week was to look at three Episcopal schools and discuss logistics for how to establish their music programs.  The travels began Monday morning with a beautiful drive along the western coast up to Gonaïves.

Our first stop was at St. Basil.  Upon arrival we were shown the instruments the students would be using.  Kelsey and I had a good time testing the instruments to check their condition.  After playing the instruments, I sat down with Père Max and discussed a plan to establish their music program (a plan similar to the one we will be using for the schools in Cap-Haïtien).

Père Max then gave us a tour of the school and the clinic that is also on the church grounds.  It is wonderful to see the Episcopal church doing so much work for the community!

I had to include this picture of Père Max!  If you notice he had on a Diocese of Virginia shirt!!!  I was pretty excited to see a little piece of home.

On Tuesday, we were picked up by Père Jonas and traveled to Gros-Morne to visit La Résurrection.  This school had already established a music program and were looking to create a more cohesive and challenging program for the students.  In our meeting, we discussed their needs and how Holy Trinity would help.

My favorite part of our stay in Gros-Morne was an impromptu Creole lesson that I had with Père Jonas.  I was working with flash cards and he sat down to help me study.  It was a great moment because as I learned Creole, he learned English.  As the studying left me feeling a little more confident with the language, Père Jonas and I had a conversation in Creole (my first real conversation)!  I asked if he could also help me with the parts of the liturgy in French, so our evening concluded with Père Jonas helping me with pronunciation of French from the Book of Common Prayer.  

The next morning, Kelsey and I hopped in the car again to head to Port-de-Paix.  To explain this car ride, imagine riding on one of those old wooden roller coasters.  Now imagine riding that for two hours and you’ll get a feel for our experience.  You don’t know the true meaning of off-roading till you’ve traveled in Haiti; it’s quite exhilarating! (And yes that is a truck that was stuck that they were trying to push)  

After our adventuresome car ride, we arrived in Port-de-Paix and met with Père Aïs.  This school also has a preexisting music program, but this is the first year they will be adding instruments to the curriculum.  They were very excited to establish the program and were ready to embrace every aspect of it.  

Later in the evening, we had the opportunity to visit the shore as the sun was setting.  Moments of beauty are definitely not lacking here!  It was a fantastic way to end our trip as we headed back to Pétionville early the next morning.  

Thank you to my sponsors this past week, Luke White and Nancy Brown, and thank you to this coming week sponsors, June and Gene Babb!  School begins this week for students here in Haiti, so the fun will certainly be continuing! 


  1. Beautiful pics, Ashley :) You look radiant as ever. I hope to talk to you soon!

  2. Very good and interesting site with very good look and perfect information ... I like it. chat