Monday, September 3, 2012

My First Sunday in Haiti

My first Sunday in Haiti has to be my favorite day here yet!  The morning began with the 8:15 English service (which really began at 8:30 because we're on island time) at St. Jacques Episcopal Church.  The compound I live at in Pétionville is connected to the church, so it is a very easy commute on Sunday mornings.  In between services we had coffee hour and were able to meet and talk with members of the congregation.  Then at 9:30 I attended the French service.  

Both services were wonderful; I love that an Episcopal service is the same basic structure no matter where you are in the world.  I was introduced to the congregation both times and was warmly welcomed into my new church.  My favorite part of the service is the exchanging of the peace, or la paix.  Everyone tries to meet everyone in the sanctuary, including the children.  It’s a beautiful example of the sense of community that you find here in Haiti.  

After church I met with Angela and my Creole tutor, Perpetua.  She was very kind and was happy to help me with learning the language.  I cannot wait to start working with her, but in the meantime I will be reviewing my books.  I am excited to be able to say more than the basics!

In the afternoon, Père César picked Kelsey and me up for a concert.  The concert was held in a town outside of Port-au-Prince.  The children performing had just participated in a music camp and the concert was the culmination of their hard work and practice.  

Before the orchestra went on to perform, I was asked to assist the woodwinds and brass get tuned.  It was awesome getting to work with the students, even briefly.  That moment was a small taste of what the year will bring and I couldn’t be more excited!  

We were able to hear one song from the orchestra before we had to load up in the car to head to our next engagement.  

Riding on the roads in Haiti is tons of fun; lots of traffic and sometimes bumpy rides, but it adds to the excitement of traveling!

Our next stop was at the Palais Municipal de Delmas for Holy Trinity’s graduation for their trade school students.  Myself and nine other musicians from Holy Trinity played in a small chamber group for the celebration.

While we were waiting back stage we had a good time warming up; it felt like home.

I even had the wonderful opportunity to meet Bishop Duracin before ceremony.  

The graduation began with Eucharist and then transitioned into the presentation of the graduates.

The ceremony was very nice, but I must say my favorite part was the music!  It was great experience to perform with my new Haitian friends and I also enjoyed listening to the Haitian gospel choir from Holy Trinity.  

My favorite piece to play at the graduation was called Choucoune.  The piece is a traditional song from Haiti.  It was first a poem about a beautiful Haitian woman, that was then turned into a song.  It had such a fun vibe to it!

After graduation, we had a fun car ride back to Pétionville.  It was filled with laughter, singing and learning more Creole.  It was a wonderful way to end the day and I feel so blessed to have this opportunity to work here!


  1. I'm so glad all is going well! One beautiful thing about music is that it translates across all languages!! :) I'm loving the photos and blog. Keep it up!!

  2. I am so excited for you. It sounds like you are "home" already. It is totally awesome that you got to be part of graduation! Is the creole difficult?

  3. Thanks for the messages! Rachel you are so right, the language of music is such a blessing. And Katy it was really awesome to be a part of the festivities yesterday. In regards to Creole, right now I think so, but ask again me in a few more weeks!

  4. Bonjour Bingaman,

    I was in Chicago this weekend and went to a service at St. Paul and the Redeemer in Hyde Park only to find out that the Trinity Boys were going to be there during their tour. How strange is that?