March 18 - Mission trip to Haiti (Fiona Vidal-White)

posted Mar 14, 2012, 12:29 PM by Todd Randolph   [ updated Mar 28, 2012, 11:51 AM by in apropos ]
On Sunday, March 18th, Fiona Vidal-White shared with Grace Discussion Group her trip to Haiti in January of this year.  The trip was sponsored by St. Dunstan's Church in Dover, and included the Rector of that church.  They visited the Parish of the Holy Spirit in Cap Hatien, which is second only to Port-au-Prince in population among Haitian cities.  The area was not impacted by the earthquake of January 12,2010.  The Episcopal Diocese of Haiti is the largest in the Anglican Communion.  It was founded by an American priest in 1861, succeeded immediately, and has thrived ever since.

Fiona's group bought paint and brushes and spent much of their time painting three classrooms in the parish school, which has 1200 students aged 3 to 19.  The students pay $250 a year, but there are many full scholarships.  About 55 students are in each class, and all wear distinctive uniforms which identify them as students at the School of the Holy Spirit.

The diocesan facilities in Port-au-Prince were largely destroyed, including not only the Cathedral, but the seminary, the convent, the trade school, and the School of Music.  Mud slides killed as many as the earthquake since all of Haiti is mostly deforested, in contrast with the Dominican Republic, which Haiti shares on the island of Hispaniola.  But the earthquake has decimated the electric generating capacity of Haiti.  Now only 10% of Haitians can expect regular electricity.  No public water is potable.  Without trash collection, there is an overwhelming amount of trash.  Even a relatively secure place like the Parish of the Holy Spirit requires a double-walled compound to achieve adequate security.  

We will be hearing more from our mission partners in coming weeks.

submitted by Bill Bruins