Last Day in Haiti
Today we decided to go for a long hike. John drove us down part of the mountain and across the valley. We first stopped at a hotel nestled in the side of a mountain. The grounds were filled flowers, scenic terraces overlooking the valley and it even had a stuffed dear head on the wall of one of the lounges. It was amazing to see the disparity between this luxury and the one-room, concrete houses of the average Haitian. From the hotel we started our walk along a long dusty road. We stopped at a set of greenhouses on the hill and were welcomed to look around by one of the attendants. The greenhouses had small flowers growing up under lights. These greenhouses were a US AID project intended to sponsor economic growth in Haiti. After looking around, we continued on our walk and were immediately met by a steep hill. We were lucky to have a Haitian guide named Adrianne to help direct us, because we almost took a wrong trail multiple times. The view from every peak along the way was beautiful, and we could even see the Curelly’s house at the top of a mountain in the distance. We continued from the mountain trail onto the beautiful property of one of the Currely’s friends. We had to step over some barbed wire to get in, but once inside everything was green and covered in flowers. At the top of the hill there were rows of Loquat trees. Adrianne helped us to pick the ripest, yellowest fruit. The fruit was delicious, and were amazingly effective in quenching our thirst. We continued on through a village and got to the base of the Currely’s hill. On the side of the hill the villagers were having a prayer service. They were singing and waving their arms led by a signer using a loudspeaker. The music was a nice way to end our hike, and helped us to conquer the many hills of the Currely’s driveway.
After our three-hour hike we were ready for a big bowl of John’s spaghetti. He uses leeks, tomatoes, and many spices to make it taste delicious. After lunch we set out all of the villagers’ sewing projects, and only brought out minimal amounts of fabric so that people would work on finishing their projects. People worked very hard on sewing up their quilts and putting borders around the sides. We used a lot of batting and flannel to put on the backs of the quilts. A few people even did a wonderful job sewing their whole quilts on the treadle machine. Although not all the quilts were perfect, each of them was unique and beautiful.
Once we had wrapped up for the day, we called over the group of women who had made cards the last time we came to Haiti. We had sold these cards, and were bringing back a dollar per card to each women who had made it. When we handed out the money all of their faces lit up, especially Elda’s. They were so grateful that they went around kissing each one of us and asking when we were coming back. It was a lovely way to end our sewing, and gave us hope that the villagers were starting to understand the goal of our project and would be invested in continuing to sew on their own in the future.
After sewing we went for another walk up Zombie Mountain with Janet. We had a pretty view out over the city. On our way back we were excited to see the villagers playing, and having fun with the “indestructible” ball that we brought as one of our gifts to the village. As we walked through the town the villagers invited us to come singing and dancing with them later that night. When we came down into the village it was very dark out, but the moon was almost full and lit our way. When we got into the village we saw a small group of men around some drums made out of water barrels. As they began to play more and more villagers came out of their houses. One women called everyone around and told us to close our eyes while she recited a prayer in English. Then we made a big circle with all the villagers and held hands while we danced. We had a lot of fun kicking our legs up under the stars. After dancing for an hour we walked back to the Currely’s with the dancers and drummers following us up the mountain. By the gate we danced a final dance, and sang along as best we could. We were sad to wave goodbye but were exhausted after our long and exercise filled day.
When we got home we started to organize the leftover fabric into colors so that Janet would have an easier time next week. We began to get our suitcases all packed up, and my dad was excited that without all of the extra fabric, we would only need eight suitcases compared to the sixteen that we had brought down. We settled down for a long nights sleep, sad that this was our last night in Haiti, but excited to get home and start fundraising for the project and the school. Overall it was a wonderful and very successful fourth trip to Haiti!