I did not put the alarm on. I waited for the house activities to wake me up. I made it just in time for prayer everyone already had their places, the sisters and the postulants. For breakfast we had pineapple, spaghetti (I still don’t get it – where is the mori, aranso, or even soup! Spaghetti? I found it hard to stomach such heavy food in the morning) and labapen. At home in NY, coffee and a piece of toast is my typical morning meal.
The Sr. Superior and the principal were sweeping water from the gathering area because of last night’s torrential rain. I took over for the principal so that she could attend to the needs of the children. The ground was littered with mangoes.
At 10:45 am, Frerot Poincon from the diocese picked me up to go to Miragoane to meet Fr. Claude Telemaque. His parish in Morisseau. I was glad that Frerot used the main entrance of Anse-a-Veau so that I could experience going on the two bridges over La Grande Rivière. At Quetant, the ocean water looked so beautiful. I love the open space and unpopulated area.
The road called Dupuy is asphalted through Madian, Charlierr, Bezin, Bondeau past the three prong corner leading to Miragoane, route National and Payant. We still have smooth road past the children’s park (stasyon kamyonet). Roads in Anse-a-Veau and Miragoane are being built. Those roads, which were built for a while, are not being maintained by the people. I see garbage or construction material left right on the road. These actions are destroying the road as well as impede traffic.
It took us about an hour and half to reach the rectory of St. Jean Baptiste Cathedral. I waited a while, prayed, and made a few pictures of the area. We are in the vicinity of the area of the Nippes project to rehabilitate the old mining port and to develop a 5sq.-km, industrial, commercial and agricultural free zone around it. This project was presented in NY on April 8, 2013 to CORA by Dr. Calonges, Mr. Clermont and and Mr. Rouzier. Miragoane seems to be populated and run down in some places. This endeavor will bring new life and development as well as housing improvements I hope. Our community in NY is praying that this public private partnership will become a successful reality for the sake of our people.
Msgr. Herve Grand-Jean came out and asked if I recognized him. As usual, I could not remember his name but knew that his face was a familiar one. I had met and talked to him at last year CRS meeting on twinning in Washington DC. Fr. Grand-Jean told me he has been in this parish for the past three years.
He had to open a school from pre-K to 4th grade to accommodate about 300 students in the neighborhood. The school named Ecole de St. Antoine de Padua asks for tuition of 500 Haitian Dollars that most students are unable to pay. He celebrates daily mass at 6:15 am followed by the ‘breviaire’ to about 30-50 participants. Week-end masses are celebrated on Saturdays at 5:30 pm and Sundays at 6:30 am, 8:45 am, 11 am and 5:30 pm with an attendance of 300 to 500 people. As a pastoral committee member, he is preparing the ‘Congres sous l’Eucharistie’ which will be celebrated in this diocese the week-end of May 30 to June 2nd with some well known bishops including Cardinal Wenski of Florida.
On the way to Morisseau, I asked Fr. Telemaque about himself and his mission. He works as an ‘adjunct’ to Fr. Yves Voltaire on Educational issues. He was ordained two years ago. He did not wish to go to a rural parish. When he was asked to replace Fr. Dumas who was in a coma after a car accident, he felt he had to honor him by accepting joyfully that assignment. He had witnessed and heard of the work Fr. Dumas was accomplishing with the parishioners. All the people in Morrisseau welcomed him. He appeared to be passionate and ready to take on his role as the newly ordained priest and to take on all the challenges. To make ends meet for himself and his parish, he teaches French at a private institute. He must take a moto taxi, two ‘kamyonèt’ to reach his destination. He is also responsible for the parochial school, K-7, which hires 14 teachers for the 180 students. He celebrates mass weekdays at 6:30 am and Sundays at 8 am.
Fr. Telemaque wishes desperately that PFTS come to the Nippes to help with agriculture, husbandry, professional school and takeover of the National school. He also mentioned two bodies of water that cause a lot of damage for this area, specially the one in Bouzi. He is hoping that Fr. Denis Hubert of St. Catherine and Magistrat Pierre Marie would address this problem.
The road to his Parish took us about two hours including stopping for some errands for Fr. We passed the community house we had previously visited with the PFST Nanbòn. Renaud Cherubin and Yves Decopin joined us for an informal conversation on ideas that could be developed to feed the children such as beans product that could be eaten with kasav, lam veritab, or plantain: bean burgers, bean soup, bean stew, bean casserole, bean salad, bean pure, fried bean, and baked bean.
At 4 pm, we took the way back to Anse-a-Veau. Frerot was very pleasant and willing to cooperate. He seems very involved in Miragoane’s television programming. He mentioned that he attends school on the week-end to complete a degree in Finance specifically accounting. He feels that he has to go abroad to get a chance to find a job. I ask him if there would be a possibility to open his own business. I mentioned to him my youth dream of having an oceanfront resort–school and model–where we would train and prepare several people to have jobs: cleaning the ocean, maintaining the beach, food vendors of Haitian Food, bar tenders, waiters, drivers for transportation for the place, mechanics, uniform sewers, cooks, sales people, public relation personnel, accountants, and managers, etc… I had to remunerate Frerot for spending the day driving me around. We arrived around 6:45 pm.
I had a chance to go to evening prayer. After supper the sisters and I chatted for half an hour.