Our last day in Haiti was a day of play, and we played the role of Hinche tourist really well. After getting to sleep in for the first time all week (8:00 breakfast!), we strolled around town and to the public market with our translators for the week, and our new buddies, Larose (lah-rohss) & Amabiel (ah-mah-bee-el). I'll have to let "the kids" tell you individually about the market experience, but I'm guessing they'll say it wasn't quite like any they've had before.
After lunch, Fr. Noe drove us thirty minutes out of town to one of Haiti's real hidden gems - Bassin Zim (bah-sen-zeem), a 70-80 foot waterfall flowing into a beautiful bathing pool below a double-cave system. After hiking to the caves with our horde of "tour guides" (read: locals with just enough English to explain that "this is a cave" and "that is a cave" and more than happy to hold your hand as you cross the small streams, for a few Haitian Gourdes, of course), we spent a good 45 minutes or so splashing in the pool and enjoying our youth (or what's left of it, for a couple of us) and a refreshing break from Haiti's summertime heat. We'll never tell how many people we packed into Fr. Noe's truck on the way back because, well, it's of no matter now.
Our return to base camp (the Rectory at St. Andre's Parish in Hinche) brought a quick freshen-up and a quicker dinner (the same fare John described as "a light meal" a few days ago - fried "sausages," fried plantains, fried yucca, fried breadfruit ... and salad), because Fr. Noe planned a special worship service - a full Eucharist - just for us and the small crew who works/lives here at St. Andre's. Caroline read the Old Testament passage, Malia read the Psalm, Kevin did the Gospel reading, and all of us huddled around my iPhone, which served as a digital Book of Common Prayer. For those of you who don't follow what all I mean there, no worries ... tonight, we were the whole church.
We're now all packed up, and by the time most of you read this, we'll probably be 35,000 feet above the Caribbean or Texas or somewhere. We've had a wonderful week together; with the people of Lauranette; and with our hosts Fr. Noe, Larose, Amabiel, Rosalair, and many others; and we've been treated like royalty by all. We can't wait to tell you all about it, and (fair warning to Connie, Karen, and Angela), "the kids" can't wait for their weekly reunion around a card table.
Thank you all for you warm thoughts and prayers and your love. We'll see you real soon!