I bought a tent several years ago. About twice each year we go camping somewhere on the beach. Thanks to Bethlehem United Methodist Church and their youth yard sale, I now have 5 tents. Over the Christmas holiday, we had planned a trip, but it never happened. We rescheduled for the 3 days of Mardis Gras vacation that Haiti always observes. On Monday morning, I worked most of the morning. At noon, I visited a youth group from Cayes that was spending the Mardis Gras vacation in our area for a youth camp. I taught a 2-hour session in which I encouraged them consider that the best way they can prepare for their own future is to fix their eyes on God (His word, His creation), and then fix their eyes on others (service). In the evening we gathered our gear, loaded up the wagon, and headed to the beach. We set up under the lights of my Honda generator.
We don’t always travel with the generator, but it does give an extra feeling of safety when you can see the space around you all night long. A favorite part of beach camping for me is waking up early (not too hard to do…the soft beach sand turns to asphalt at about 2:00am). As light moves into the environment, fishermen head out to do their jobs. The peaceful, easy feeling out on the beach is remarkable. Another day is being born. Waves lap. Birds sing. Crickets settle down. Trees stand still. Live begins again. The sky is like a theatrical show. At some point the sun appears like a special guest whose entrance has been built up over time. In an hour or so, it will be hot again. But for a brief period, Haiti is all beauty and no heat.
Without thinking of the connection to the American holiday, I packed several doughnuts (that a neighborhood lady sells from time to time) for Monday night and Tuesday morning. There were 3 left for breakfast on Tuesday…for three guys. I enjoyed mine before I even realized I was eating a doughnut on the day before Lent, like so many other people.
The guys at my house brought me food at noon. Eating at the beach makes a regular meal great. I then rode a cycle back to my house in order to watch a big soccer game on TV…in which the team I had hoped would win was beaten soundly. That has been a theme lately for the games I choose to watch. Immediately after that, I walked quickly back to the beach wondering if our tents and my generator were disturbed while we were away for a few hours. They were not. Everything was as we left it. The guys with me agreed that they would be shocked if ever they heard that Andy had something stolen from him in Pasbwadòm. I live in a community that appreciates me.
Tuesday evening was hotdog night. We ate…too many. As always we roasted them on an open fire of coconut leaves and other twigs. Even the sandy ones were tasty.
Wednesday morning was another glorious beach morning. I wrote a song about Haiti the other week. One line in the song is : “Ayiti! Chak jou mwen lakay ou pou tande pipirit chante, mwen santi nanm mwen beni.” (Haiti! Every day that I get to hear your morning birds sing, I feel blessed.)
Missionary in Haiti.