Friday, January 8, 2010

La Gonave, Consecration of Two churches

As I mentioned in my advent reflection, we had an opportunity to visit the island off of Haiti's coast, La Gonave, at the beginning of the year. It was an eventful and wonderful visit in many ways, and rather difficult in many others.People came from all over the island to attend the consecration of the two new Episcopal churches, and we had over a hundred confirmations and baptisms all told.
was a moment to remember, and to mark the moment the people came out in their finest clothes. Young girls and women dressed in beautiful pastel summer dresses, and more often in what looked to my eyes like First Communion dresses: white lace, ruffles, and veils.
Men, young and old, dressed in slacks or jeans with button-down shirts and ties. The children were fascinated with our cameras and came close for several pictures, which was very sweet. We all sort of hung around awkwardly staring at each other for a few minutes before we ventured toward them to say hello.

La Gonave is very remote, and relatively untouched by modernity. To get there we took a speed boat, dubbed "the yacht," with the bishop, some seminarians, and a well-known Haitian journalist. The bishop was fearless and stood at the front of the vessel as it jetted over waves, rising and falling with a thud against the water. We were soaked by the time we arrived, and grateful for it too since it was scorching hot outside.

Being on La Gonave felt a little like stepping into the Jurassic period. It's full of lush vegetation, patched-together huts in small villages, and perilous clay roads covered in rocks and boulders of various sizes. On the footpath we took to get to Platon Balai I noticed most rocks that were protruding from the clay ground were riddled with marine-like fossils so that I surmised the island must have been some kind of ancient sea bed millions of years before.


  1. Hey Jude,
    I enjoyed reading your Advent and New Year's addition to your blog. I pray for your safety and that the Joy of our Lord will be ever present.

  2. Jude, hang in there-- hope you're doing ok in the wake of the quake