Day 2 in Haiti started bright and early with mass at 6:30. The simplicity of the chapel at the Outreach to Haiti guest house reminded us of our commitment to simplicity this week. The reading I read represented the fact that only God has the right to judge us, a reason as to why we are going through the week remembering to "notice rather than judge."
Following mass, we all piled in the van to travel up the mountains of Haiti to visit Just Haiti's community partner in Fond Tortue in the Baraderes region. The drive took about 7 hours. The ride was filled with scenic views and plentiful conversations. There were no planned stops, but when we finally decided we couldn't go any longer, we stopped to use the bathrooms. Unlike the United States, there are no rest stops along the road. Instead, we stopped at a random house. Our group was a bit nervous to impose on strangers, but we were welcomed with Haitian hospitality. Not only were we allowed to use the bathroom, but they offered us all fresh coconuts to drink the water and then eat them!
We were greeted by many smiling faces, including some kids of the town who remembered my name from last time I was here! For dinner, we ate a feast of rice and brans and goat meat (cabrit). After dinner, we blew up the soccer balls we brought and started a game. Despite our language barrier, we formed relationships with the kids via dancing, soccer, smiling, and other forms of universal communication.
At the end of the day, most of the group reflected on the fact that today was a wonderful day despite spending 7 hours of it in the car! We enjoyed each other's company and felt solidarity within our group. We are thankful for our opportunities to continue to form relationships with each other and our new community partners!