Haiti Mission Team
Piti piti zwazo fe nich li. (Little by little the bird makes its nest.)
It’s good to be back in Leogane. Each time I’m here, I receive invaluable life lessons from those who have endured so much since the devastating January 12, 2010 earthquake that rocked Leogane City Center. Leoagane was but twelve miles west of the quake’s epicenter. The capital, Port-au-Prince, was twelve miles to the east. Ten percent of Leogane’s population – 20,000 – perished that day. Eighty percent of the buildings here were destroyed.
Four and a half years later, there have been many improvements. In 2011, Rue Pere Thevenot and Rue La Croix – which intersect at the NW corner of Hopital Sainte Croix (“HSC”) – were dirt roads that carried foot deep floodwaters during the rainy season. (We are staying at the HSC Guesthouse.) Now, all streets in the Leogane City Center are paved with concrete bricks, with stormwater drains. The hospital no longer is inundated on occasion by muddy waters.
The ten members of the St Anthony Haiti Group, and all of the supporters back home, want to be a part of continuing to assist our friends in Leogane. Next week, we’ll replace and resurface more than seventy desk tops and benches at Sainte Croix Episcopal School. We’ll enclose an open-air classroom, to convert it to a secure admin office for teachers and staff. We are bringing eight lap top computers and some printers to replace equipment that has not been operable since the quake.
One member of our group has led an effort through her employer to provide new backpacks and shoes to the 130 students at the school who live at a Leogane orphanage.
I arrived in Port-au-Prince this past Saturday. It was good to see familiar faces at the airport – Ronald and Zo, and Ben the HSC driver who drove me back to Leogane. Driving the twenty-five miles through the capital and then west down National Highway No. 2 , the street beats and sightings reminded me once again that this is a special place. It will pull on your heart.
I came to Leogane a few days ahead of the group to do some advance work at the Guesthouse. On Wednesday, I’ll be joined by another group member to make detailed measurements for our work projects and to purchase materials and equipment in Port-au-Prince. I’m really looking forward to seeing the rest of the group this Saturday.
We’ll all excited about attending services this coming Sunday at Sainte Croix Episcopal Church next door. After the service, St Anthony is hosting a meal at the church for 250 parishioners.