Day at the Beach – Day 6
Friday August 20 2010,
I woke up around 6:15 AM, got dressed and went over for breakfast. We were going to a beach today, so I didn’t need to get my work clothes on. After breakfast, we went back to Jane and Bud’s house, for a presentation on the Starfish Kids program. Jane explained how in Haiti a sixth grade education is a good education. She also mentioned that the government made some changes and now Starfish Kids can do high school grades as well. They teach a faith based program and the kids have to attend their Sunday School to ensure that they stay involved in their church community. Right now, there are about 7,000 children being sponsored for school through Starfish. They have partnered with the group, Joy & Hope for Haiti, so they could help build schools for the program.
After the presentation, we hopped in the truck to go to the beach. We were joined by the Bundy kids, Kate, Hannah, Erica, Bud and Jane. It took an hour just to get there. The beach was on the other side of the mountain. We had to drive through Cap Haitien to get there. It was quite busy. I held my camera in my hands, half concealed by my hat. I didn’t want to offend anyone by taking a picture of them. I really felt for the people. I’m sure they don’t want people seeing them like this. They are a proud people. That’s a funny saying. Aren’t all people proud people? Most people are embarrassed or ashamed when they don’t have what others have, but it’s a little different there than at home. Here it is the essentials of life that are missing, but back home it’s other things that really aren’t important, such as cars, t.v.s, etc. Since I was standing at the back of the truck, I had a clear shot behind me. I still didn’t want anyone to see me, so I held my camera against my leg and took them without knowing what I was taking. I just think that I would rather have a bunch of not so good pictures than to offend anyone. When I got back and took a look at them, there were actually quite a few goods ones. I was now up to about 250 shots.
The drive was slow and the road kept winding first up and down the mountain and then along the coast. We got to La Plague Cormier. It is a resort on on the ocean. It was okay. I’m not really sure how to explain it. It really wasn’t a 4-star resort like in Mexico or even Cuba. There was a pretty nice restaurant on the beach with a bar. The beach was beautiful white sand, except for all of the garbage that washes up on shore. It reminded me of the beach in Cayo Coco, were we went on our honeymoon. Most of us got changed and quickly went into the water. It was pretty shallow. The tide was out and we couldn’t swim too far because of a coral reef. The water was like a bathtub, so warm that it was barely refreshing. As I was swimming, the 3 oldest Bundy kids were swimming over to me and we played in the water. Jake was trying to surf on my knee and the girls were picking up a bunch of rocks from under the water. I told them they were way too heavy for them, but they wanted to show me how many of the little rocks they could hold. Eventually, we started to pick up beach glass. There was a lot of it. I made sure that there wasn’t any that were sharp.
Gordon, Joyce, and Barb were going to walk down the beach, so I decided to join them. The kids came with us. I was helping Alanna pick up more glass and some shells as we walked up and down the beach. About half way down there was a older lady on the beach with a table of souvenirs setup. When we came back, I jumped in the water and then rested in the beach chair. It was time for lunch and we all went to the restaurant. I ordered a cheeseburger and when it came, it was pretty big, with two patties. We all had a large 500 mL glass bottle of Coke or Sprite. After lunch, I put on some more sunscreen, after all it was very hot and the sun was just baking us! I sat for a while and then joined Gordon for a walk down the beach with our cameras. When we got back to our chairs, we went back in for a swim. The tide was starting to come in now, so it was a little deeper and it brought in some cooler water. We played with the kids again until it was time t get ready to go.
It seemed to take less time to get over the mountain on the way back. There were a lot of UN vehicles that we past. Many of them take their leave at the resort for the weekend. Once we got back into Cap the streets became congested again. We past a funeral
procession walking behind a hearse. I got a bunch more pictures, but the times that I tried to hold the camera up high to take a picture in front of the truck, I got some stares as well as a finger or two. I’m still apprehensive about waving from the truck, when I think about their point of view when white people come by. ”Oh we have to wave, here come the white people. Everyone smile, white people are here!” I don’t know if that’s how they really feel or not, I just feel like when we keep doing it, it makes it seem like the people are on display. I have a hard time thinking that it’s not degrading towards them. If we were back home and a car full of people would drive by waving, we would think that it was quite strange and would be hesitant to wave back.
When we got back, I got showered and changed. We had dinner with Kate at the Holiday House. We had a casserole with beef and cornbread in it, but most of us were still pretty full from our lunch at the beach. It was amusing the way we ended up sitting at the table. It is a T-shaped table and we almost sat exactly the ages of each other with the older members at the top of the T. The conversation at that end of the table was a little heavier than ours, discussing personal struggles with family members, which wasn’t really something that our end of the table could relate to. After supper, we played Taboo – Gordon,Tania, Erin, Brittney and I and then a later later Joyce joined us. After two games of that, we played “Janitor” or whatever someone else might call it. In the meantime, we had a few laughs at somethings that weren’t really funny, but we must have been tired.We finished up at 10:30 PM, as I ended up on top! Gordon and I walked back to our room as it was starting to spit a little. Once we got inside it started raining a little harder, but didn’t last too long.