I’ve gone to Haiti twice. The first time Jerry and I went together, August, 1971, with a group of folks from Dearborn, Michigan. We went to work, of course, you don’t go to Haiti for pleasure. Jerry nicknamed it The Land of Smiles! Everyone smiled! They were so poor and so hungry but they still smiled! This is me with a little friend I made.
We were there three weeks. We left our four children at home with friends. The first three days I was in total culture shock! I couldn’t believe a country so close to the USA could live in such poverty and backward living.
I think the pictures are self explanatory. Picture five is a tarantula in our kitchen! Pictures six, seven and eight show Jerry and project he was working on. Rensberry Free Methodist Church. Picture seven was taken the day we left to go home. Picture eight was taken when the church was finished. Before you become too critical of building churches when they need houses so badly, the church buildings are also used for schools.
Picture nine was taken 22 years later! I was in Haiti for my second time and went on a Sunday afternoon to see the church Jerry had helped to build in 1971. There was a service going on! When they heard a visitor was there from the US, I was asked to bring greetings! I proudly told them my husband had helped build this church. They were so happy and applauded enthusiastically!
Voodooism was the main belief back then. We often heard drums and shouts and the tinkling sounds of Voodooism in the night. Red was the color associated with voodoo so we were advised not to wear any red clothing while we were there. This was so sad and only God could overcome such beliefs.
When we returned home to Michigan and to our four, at that time, children I went through another form of culture shock! I couldn’t believe how people here wasted money! It was several months before we went to a restaurant to eat! All I could think of where poverty was so bad, how could we spend money on ourselves?