I spent afternoons last week rehearsing about 12 young people who make up the ASAPH brass band (fanfa). We play a simplified version of the national anthem La Dessalinienne. By the end of the week, we sounded pretty good with two trombones playing a bass part, two different trumpet harmony parts, and one more advanced player on trumpet doing melody. I played my sax to support him on the melody.
May 18th finally arrived. Sunday. We went to church and came home. Our plan was to warm up and then go meet the 'parade' of kids coming from the Baptist school and church. We shared some ASAPH sandwiches (bread with a trace of peanut butter and raisins), and drank water in order to make sure we didn't tire out along the way. :) Then we warmed up and sounded great. As we prepared to head out, rain! It rained and rained. While we waited out the rain, I called home and had the band play for my mom and family via telephone. (I think it was the best we sounded all day.)
Then, we all decided rain wasn't going to stop us from playing our song. We make preparations to head out into the rain. By the time we stepped out the door, it had stopped raining. We stopped every 100 yards or so and played our song a few times through. People were delighted and complimented us. Then we headed west to the Baptist school. There we met up with the real parade! There was a sound 'float' and lots of marchers in varied uniforms. And many blue and red flags. We played our song there, and then walked back to Pasbwadom with them...leading the parade! (Too bad we never took the time to learn how to march!...next year!) There may have been a few showers on the way, but we were having too much fun to notice. :)
It was a great day for young and old alike. Older folks here always talk of great flag day celebrations in days gone by. Some years the date has gone by with no celebration due to political strife. This one was very nice. It was a day of community and oneness. Kids shared what they had been learning to do. Old folks enjoyed the chance to watch a 'spectacle'. And Haiti celebrated its patriotic symbol once again.
Missionary in Haiti.