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Back Home !

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Back home in Haiti! I say back home because this is my 5th trip to Sapaterre and each time I visit it becomes more like home away from home.

We, myself, Doug and Mike arrived in Port Au Prince on Feb 21 on schedule, located Fr. Nova, pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Sapaterre and our translator, guide, and good friend Michel Jean.  Michel is from Jacmel to the south and makes his living as a tour guide. We loaded our bags in the back of the truck and headed to Sapaterre.  One of the new things upon arrival at the airport was the institution of a new “Tourist Tax” of $10 US.  The drive took about 2 ½ hours.  The parish is located about 5 KM south of the major town of Hinche which also happens to be the Diocesan center for the Catholic Church in that area of the country known as the Central Plateau.  Just to give a little background Our Lady of the Rosary is the poorest of the parishes in this Diocese.

Upon our arrival lunch was ready.  As we walked into the pastor’s rectory we were greeted with decorations and signs welcoming us to the parish. After a hearty meal of beans and rice, chicken, fried bananas, and potato, carrot, and beet salad we retired to one of the large mango trees to relax from our long journey.  Fr. Nova informed us he had to go out on business and would join up with us in time for the evening meal. 

After a little relaxation and a nice cold Prestige (the local international award winning Haitian beer), I decided to take Doug and Mike to meet my Haitian friends across the street from the parish.  Immediately as we walked along the path people began to recognize me and we were instantly welcomed to their homes where we introduced Doug and Mike.  I am always happy to see them and always made to feel at home.  Even though I haven’t learned the language yet, the smiles and hearty handshakes from everyone say it all!  Michel of course was with us and we were able to converse through him.

After a couple hours of visiting we headed back to the rectory to wind down from the long day under the mango tree, enjoyed a light evening meal with father and were informed we would be attending Mass at St. Peter’s parish – it was their feast day, The Chair of St. Peter, which is always a treat.  I was happy Doug and Mike would have an opportunity to experience a Patron Feast Day, Haitian style. 

To see more photos of our welcome, visit our photo page.