Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Haiti Art

We're in Haiti for a spring break visit and today visited two of my favorite boutiques featuring Haitian-made artisan products. Apparent Project and Haitian Creations (with a new line called Fait la Force launching this fall) were chock-full of jewelry, bags, metalwork, soaps, wall decor, stuffed animals, and pottery.

Apparent Project was a hive of activity, with over 250 artisans working to create beads and throw pottery. There was a group experimenting with batik patterns on dyed cloth using wax. Another group was tapping out designs on tin hearts likely recycled from giant oil drums. They've expanded to include a cafe with fresh fruit smoothies as well as a library. Upstairs I watched a lady stringing green and gold beads. It felt good to chat briefly in Kreyol; it's not lost! One of AP's founders, Corrigan, opened a new shop called Ayiti Ink for his tattoo business. So much growth since we left in June!

In the same building with Ayiti Ink is The Irish Embassy, Haiti's one and only Irish pub. Baby Grace made use of the giant carved pulpit to deliver her first sermon. 

Over in Tabarre, Haitian Creations is working on sample products in anticipation of their new line launching this fall. Chandler is particularly expanding into handbags made of a soft, supple leather that looks like something off the Baggu website.

We attended chapel today and saw our former student, Timothy, share his testimony. Stories about his childhood in Nigeria and his German parents were touching.

We attended pizza dinner and Bible study at the Grahams' house with 20 or so teachers, then took the long trek up Montaine Nwa to stay tonight with  John and Jodie. Now I'm falling asleep to the distinctly Haitian combo of tree frogs and the hum of inverter batteries...

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Return of the Kilpatricks

We're back! Sweaty as ever, Ben and I are back in action in the Ayiti. Our primary purposes are to love on our friends & students as well as help at TeacHaiti. Today was spent at Quisqueya.

The school is now purple, our beloved juniors have now received college acceptances, and basically everybody had a baby. In our first 24 hours I accidentally attended a La Leche League meeting (and stayed just to be with my friends and their new babies) and we dropped in to our old friend Eagle Market for a $5 bag of pretzels. When we checked out, my name still printed on the receipt... I stood in the hall during the passing period at 11:00 and kissed basically every kid in the high school. "Miss, you're shorter!" "No, hon, you're taller!" We visited home ec class and saw my discipleship girls whip up fried mozzarella as the guys tried to master the sewing machines. I saw an 18-year-old guy rip out a seam that wasn't right. Lunch was white fish and green sauce with a heap of pikliz. I bought a lunch ticket for the first time ever. New school rule- all water, no Kool Aid. Ben sat in on Bible class and I peeked in Jodie's Kindergarten class on the first day of the new unit on African animals. The seniors were having a parent meeting about their upcoming trip, so I got to hug several moms with whom I've spent many hours. We ran into Madame Meristel, our former housekeeper. She asked specifically about my friend who had cancer last year. She said she's continued to pray for her. Josiah's dreads are gone, Stephanie's engaged, Nathaniel is married...

Everything is just the same. Except for all the differences.


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