After being delayed a week due to an unforseen bout of Strep, I finally arrived in Port-au-Prince last Saturday. It's been a full week. It's been, in fact, eight days.
I was greeted with a big smile and open arms by Kyle Evans, the first lay missioner to Haiti in 15 years, and Pere Oge Beauvoir, Dean of the Seminaire Theologique. The ride from the airport to my new residence in the city was one of the most harrowing experiences I've ever had. Haitian driving is something to behold: there are virtually no traffic lights, no lanes, and it's pretty much a free-for-all. It's totally normal to have a car hurling at you with the expectation that it will be able to dodge your vehicle last minute, and most of the time that's true. That night Oge treated me and Kyle to a lovely dinner in one of the city's premier hotel's the Plaza. It was a fantastic evening of fellowship and good food.
The second day I attended the 9am Mass (yes, that's what they call it in the Diocese of Haiti--so RC!) at the Cathedrale Episcopale. When I have a chance I'm going to take pictures of the gorgeous murals covering the interior of the Cathedral. Despite everything else to that point seeming completely foreign, the liturgy was reassuringly familiar. For a moment, I felt profoundly connected to the Communion of Saints as I imagined my brother and sisters gathering for Holy Eucharist at Christ Church Cambridge. Though we are separated by thousands of miles, and a universe of socio-cultural differences, yet in that moment we are all one. The Mass was celebrated by Rev. Fernande Sanon, the first and so far only woman to be ordained to the priesthood in the Diocese of Haiti. A delegation from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, including their archbishop, was at the Cathedral that morning presenting their support for development work that the Diocese is doing here.
Picutres soon to follow...