Showing posts from November, 2015

Pain and Suffering

There is a distinction between ‘pain’ and ‘suffering.’ Put very simply, pain is what we experience during times of physical or emotional trials – suffering is the same, but without hope. As part of this Mission, we have been seeking to be a relief to both pain – as in the case of young Frankel – and to shine a light of hope that alleviates the despair of those who are in a state of suffering. It’s not for us to say whether any person is suffering or “just” enduring a very challenging set of circumstances, but each person we have met have made sacrifices and faced emptyhandedness that most Canadians could not begin to understand. In our time here we have had the opportunity to learn more about their hardships by taking baby-steps towards it ourselves. We ourselves have encountered challenges that are so completely foreign to our own daily lives that often all we can do is just laugh. And it is in these encounters that we have a choice to make: we could take the default

Face-offs, Fortitude, and Frankel

(Our internet connection has been unavailable since early Saturday, thus the late post. If you haven't heard from someone on the team in a while rest assured we are all still going strong...ish :-) )  The past two days have had as many peaks and valleys as the roads we’ve been driving on. Saturday started strong at a school in Latibouli ère , and, as we had suspected, giving Pop Rocks to the unsuspecting is highly entertaining for all to see. We then divided the team, with some going on to Pr éville to paint and to “cruise”, and some went on home visits to sponsored children. The ‘cruisers’ arrived to discover that their digging tools for the day consisted of a shovel and a piece of rebar, but they persevered and made significant headway into making a latrine for an incredibly grateful family. Shout out to their translator Chancely who rescued them from the scorpion. The home visit crew had a different tale to tell. Having been told the home of Mary-Lo

And the 'Real' Work Begins...

(This post was written on the midst of post-meal stomach issues, we missed posting it. Thank you for staying tuned!) The day has come; today we actually rolled up our sleeves and made ourselves useful. First order of business was to sort the 30-odd bags of donations we brought with us to be divided by the site staff among the different sub-sites. A pile for school supplies, books, shoes, toys, dental hygiene, medical, feminine hygiene, sports gear and clothing…we figure the hundreds of toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes we brought will negate the bags and bags of candy…right? Then we were off on a very bumpy ride to the school in Carrefour Sanon. We passed the time by learning some Creole from our tri-lingual driver, Joel, and in turn trying to introduce him to the concept of maple syrup, which is difficult when you don’t know the French word for sap – although Joanne’s attempt with “tree blood” was pretty good. He seemed to enjoy the maple candy we gave him.

Man of the Day: Our Bus Driver!

We’re told that it’s harder for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the gates of heaven. Well, to all the rich men out there, you need to speak to our bus driver, because he could probably get you where you’re going.  To call today’s drive across the country “an adventure” is doing it a disservice. In the 9.5 hour journey, we passed through city and country, relieved ourselves in surprising places (including our bus driver’s family home), drove around hairpin turns on roads about the width of our bus, and squeezed through a bridge with only a few centimetres on either side. And, of course, witnessed natural vistas unlike anything most of us had ever seen before. The only person seeming to feel more at home here is Fr. Duncan, who is a pastor of two parishes in Cape Breton. He has already found four, yes four, ways that Haiti reminds him of Inverness. Sweeping Caribbean vistas? Like the Highlands. Winding country roads and she