Thursday, April 10, 2014

Visiting an Orphanage, Baptist Mission and Fort Jacques

Monday, February 17 (7 weeks ago)
Guest Post by Danielle M.

Today was another adventure filled day with a visit to an orphanage, the Baptist Mission, and Fort Jacques in the mountains!

Driving to our first destination was an experience in its own. Will only had US dollars, but she needed diesel so it took quite a bit of negotiation not to get ripped off on the exchange rate at the gas station. Then as we merged back into traffic a guy with a diesel rag jumped onto the vehicle to wipe the dust off; for a price of course! When it happened a second time and Will motioned 'No', the would be wiper punched the vehicle!
Will explained that in Haiti simple errands can take a long time because of traffic and the negotiation involved in purchasing things.

We had a difficult time finding the orphanage as we only had partial directions. We drove down rough windy roads up in the mountains and ended up on a steep incline in someone’s yard! After a few tries and with some help from a friendly Haitian guy we managed to turn around again. Because of the steep terrain the vehicle began to give off a bad smell!

Will then get on her phone and after getting some more directions: 'go through a dip, turn right by a house with cones, go through an S curve, stay left at the Y etc.,' we finally found it.

Once at the orphanage we received a tour by a friend of Will's. I loved every minute we spent with the precious little babies in the first nursery! In box-like beds, premature and so tiny, their big brown eyes looking at us so intensely,I just wanted to hold them all at once!
We learned that some of the babies were just there temporarily until they got bigger and healthier and would return to their mothers, while others were dropped off and would be put up for adoption.

We then visited the next nursery where the 6-12 month old babies were. There were many cribs lined up in there.

The next room was the toddler room which consisted of a group of high energy, rambunctious little munchkins and a couple of very tired looking nannies. The kids were excited to see us and very loud! These children were all waiting for their adoptions to be completed.
We then went to the outdoor balcony play area which had a beautiful view of the mountains.
Enjoying the sunshine and amazing view, we played with the children and talked to volunteers who were spending time with the kids.

A few hours later, after one last cuddle with baby Josemin, we made our way back out into the maze of walled-in houses and bumpy roads.

We ate our lunch at the Baptist Mission in the fresh, cool mountain air, and the kids enjoyed the nice new playground and petting zoo there.

We then drove on to Fort Jaques higher up the mountain on a very rough road that was in the process of being redone. The fort had been badly damaged in the earthquake but was neat to see.

Inside the Fort there was a deep cistern with beautiful water lilies growing in it.
We also saw canons, dark eerie rooms and tunnels;  one tunnel went  all the way up the mountain to a neighboring fort.
We also had an awesome view of Port au Prince.

Walking through the fragrant pine trees, we arrived back at the vehicle to be greeted by a guy wanting to be paid for watching the vehicle. “Maximum security,” he said. We had a good laugh!

It was another fun-filled day finished off with a delicious meal of tacos, mangoes and papaya.

No comments:

Post a Comment