For me, waking up in Haiti is always a good start to my day. Hearing the sounds of voices and an occasional rooster crowing is just a great way to start my day.
But today was an exceptional day as I was able to witness the marriage of one of our girls from the children’s home. Guerda Felixe is twenty-one years old and is such an amazing young woman. I have gotten to know her throughout my trips to Haiti and it was an honor to have her plan her wedding at the same time my group was here.
Matt Fox, a team member, is her sponsor. My wife and I sponsor Guerda’s younger sister, Shella, but have grown so fond of Guerda in our trips here. To be able to be invited to attend her wedding, and then her to plan it so we could attend for our annual trip is hard to explain.
The two Haitian weddings I have attended are much different than those in the states. The time is only a small part as the ceremony lasted for two and a half hours. Eleanor explained that she really enjoyed the singing that took place. Their voices are beautiful and it was more of a worship service as choirs and groups sang in between hymns of praise.
In the end, the wedding was a beautiful ceremony where Guerda committed her life in marriage to Herode.
After the wedding, me and Casey, Eleanor, Nicole, and Steve headed to Mirbalais to grocery shop. The market is another one of those things in Haiti that has to be experienced instead of explained. As Nicole put it, it can just be chaos. There are hundreds of people on market day. All over the place are clothes, meat, fruit, vegetables, drinks, and almost anything you can imagine they would have in a Haitian market. As Eleanor explained, it was everything she expecting but she still was overwhelmed at the sheer amount of people that were there.
While we worked, Matt, Mike, Bob, and Jamie began working on trusses to put on the old girls dorm. This is our main project as we are converting the former girls dorm into a guest house. The roof has been ripped off and now half the trusses are up. On Monday hopefully we will complete the trusses and get the new roofing put on. After that it’s fixing walls, painting, and installing new bathrooms.
All in all it was a busy day that will be concluded with sitting in the girls dorm, talking, laughing, and singing with the children. As they sing songs like How Great Thou Art, we will sing in English. The mixture of the two languages may sound like a jumbled mess, but until you experience the presence of The Lord in a large cement building with a bunch of beautiful Haitian children, you won’t understand. Words cannot describe the beauty of praising with the Haitians. It’s a foretaste of heaven as every tribe, tongue, and nation sings before the throne.