I will start out by saying that I really do love Port-au-Prince and love living here, but boy was it good to get out of the city this weekend! This Saturday several of the teachers and some family members loaded up into the vans and went to Kaliko Beach Club. There were about 17 of us that went. At 8 am we crammed into two large vehicles and began the slow, bumpy ride out of the city. To not make this long, and because I’m feeling lazy, I will write a post about driving in the city at another time. An hour later we were still within the city limits, bumping along.
When you are leaving the city limits and entering the countryside, the first thing you notice are the big, open, building-free hills. But, really, the hills aren’t all building free. Just outside the city you drive by an area littered with tents and ramshackle buildings. These aren’t all crammed together like some of the pictures of tent cities you see. They are a little bit more spread out, but they stretch on for miles. Over 100,000 people live out here. No sewage system, no electricity, no regular water source. I will pause here for a serious moment. As we drove by I began to feel a pang of guilt. I came here to serve the people, and now I’m driving by all these huts on my way to pay $30 for a day at the beach with fresh water to drink and more food than I could need at lunch? What’s up with that? I don’t know what the appropriate response in those moments is. I really don’t. I don’t think God wants those of us who live here in this country to drive by the tents, and immediately turn our gaze to the beach on the other side of the road. I also don’t think he wants us to beat ourselves up over going out to the beach with our community and relaxing. God does bless us, but with those blessings come responsibility. I don’t know what a good balance is or what a good response is, but I do know that I never want to be okay with how things are here right now. I never want to just shrug my shoulders and think “Welp, that’s just the way it is” and then look out at the beach on the other side of the car. Anyway, back to beach day…
We arrived at Kaliko, found us some chairs and began to soak up the sun. We played Frisbee in the water for a bit until one of the men got a bit of a jellyfish sting. That kind of put the damper on the water-fun. We had a delicious buffet lunch and after that spent the afternoon laying out, snorkeling, swimming in the pool, and ended the day with a sand volleyball game.
It was great to relax with friends, do nothing, swim and play, and breathe air that didn’t smell of car fumes/trash/farm animals/urine. This isn’t an every weekend thing, and for that I am actually thankful. I want to enjoy the sweet, rare delight of beach day when it comes around!
|Tiff and Jill relaxing|
|The beautiful beach|