We hear that these days are the most important days of celebration for Haitian people. But we would not know it if we only look for the external signs. We are used to seeing many large gatherings in the Church, people on the streets, fireworks, parties, and the media reporting all that goes on in bringing in the new year. Here in Haiti nothing like this is really present. We wonder if this is due to the country’s poverty and experience of much suffering.
We are learning that the religious communities bring to God’s people joy by organizing activities in the Church, such as Bingo, gathering the children, youth and adults for fun activities, games and dancing. The religious communities also gather among themselves to share a meal and dancing. We had the opportunity to participate in such a gathering with the Sisters of Loretto. They live in the mountains and the people in the villages depend on them. For example while we were there a small boy was brought to the sisters who had broken his leg. You could see he was in agony; he was semiconscious. The sisters knew he had to be taken to the hospital. So they put a makeshift splint on it and he was taken by motorcycle to town which is 45 minutes away on very bad roads. Then after dinner a young girl came to the door with a swollen hand. She had a burn that was infected. One of the sister’s was able to help her.
We were able to visit their school and their new dispensary that was just built by a group from Spain. We hope to keep learning and knowing what will be ours to do as we share the presence of Christ to all and meet him in His people.