Tuesday, July 2, 2013

C2 - Haiti: Trip Update

Monday was the first day of camp in Labrande, and our team was well rested and ready to jump in... After laying low, only venturing out for a short walk around the community on Sunday afternoon, they all hit the sack early and slept well. The bells start at 5:30am each morning and are rung a few times announcing Mass, which is celebrated at 6:30am at St. Anne's. After Mass, our missionaries enjoyed a breakfast of goat, plantains, rice and beans, and mango. The team also shared a few gifts with Fr. Wilner, including a personalized copy of 'Rebuilt' for the church.

The camp is held in the parish school -- the church, school, and rectory where our teams stay are all located in the same walled compound. Bruce, Kelly, Martha and Sharon wandered down to camp before the children arrived and met the "animators" (i.e. counselors) who run the camp. There are about twelve animators, young men and women in their late teens/early twenties who will travel to different churches putting on camps all summer. The
were very impressed with the high energy from the animators and how they got the kids fired up and excited to be there. Each morning, the campers gather in the school courtyard for a rally and songs. The team was introduced to the campers during the rally, and they all sang a song of welcome using each of our missionaries' names.
The camp was then separated by age group and gender, and the team jumped right in engaging with them. Kelly taught some of the younger girls a simple hand game, which they enjoyed. One of the littlest girls, Marie, fell asleep in Sharon's lap during part of the morning. Martha was engaged in a team competition of rock, paper, scissors. And Bruce wrote the English lyrics to "This Little Light of Mine" on the blackboard in the classrooms, which Fr. Wilner translated into Creole. That song was taught to the camp by last summer's Travel Team and continues to be a camp favorite!

The team spread out among the different age groups during craft time on Monday -- with older girls sewing, little ones making paper chains, boys learning how to fold a sheet of paper into an envelope. Camp ends in the afternoon, and the team heads back to the rectory for lunch. It was pretty hot during the day, but pleasant sitting on the rectory porch in the shade. There was a very strong thunderstorm later in the day that lasted about two hours. Although they were safe and under cover, the team is aware that not every dwelling in the village would fare so well in the storm.


  1. One wonderful part of being a part of the summer camp at St. Ann's is the opportunity to see the cafeteria that Nativity had built a couple of years ago. It is a beautiful but simple building that was well thought out and is perfectly suited to the school's needs. They clearly take a lot of pride in the building as it is so well cared for.
    The amount of food that the women cook in the huge vats over open fires out behind the building is amazing. It is quite inspiring to see some of the children who have had enough spoon out what food remains in their bowls to some of the other children who are still eating. No food is wasted and they are looking out for one another.
    And that's the beauty that we see in the people of St. Ann's.
    Mitch - member of the Nativity team in summer, 2012

  2. Bonswa to Bruce, Sharon, Martha and Kelly.
    Your 1st camp day sounds like an amazing experience. High energy is an understatement! These animators ROCK ~and they rev up the children. The children are also very attentive and respect them. No ADD here! Pretty soon Bruce will be called to play soccer, and perhaps Kelly as well, so, be ready for it. And, I also played the R,P, S game as did Martha. The children and teachers really love your involvement. Sharon, I can really envision Maria on your lap...so sweet. I continue to pray for you as you spend time with the children, Father Wilner and staff . Awaiting your personal thoughts and reflections when you return.
    As always, Lape, JJ

  3. I loved reading this! It sounds like so much fun! Know of our intercession for you, and the love we're sending your way. Keep shining Christ's bright light!
    Kristin :)