The mission then looked like a military camp, when our friends from an American Marines Support Group started to build the so much longed-for school: 12 classrooms in 3 buildings! A true wonder… but let us also mention the good mood exemplified by this anecdote:
"After sunset at the mission, our kind pig escaped from the watchful children of our mission; the animal ran throughout the camp and nobody was able to see him or catch him. The children, the Sisters, their veil floating in the wind, the Marines, everyone was running in every direction… Then, the one Marine on watch, up in the makeshift watchtower, grabbed his infrared binoculars and guided our little toddlers in their pursuit after the running pig: Run that way! Oh, you missed him! Faster! Finally, the whole thing ended up in general giggles from the part of all the Marines, Nuns and children, out of breath in the race. Our impertinent pig… was sent back to his dwelling!"
Fraternite Notre Dame's religious, as for them, built the orphanage, with the help of a team of masons from Dumay.
You have to specify here that a torrid heat covers this sunny country, and at times torrential rain covers the land with a mirror of water. The Brothers and Priests from Fraternite Notre Dame give all their energy also to build the walls of the orphanage and dispensary, so as to offer basic medical care to the sick.
The first "classroom" and its first pupils.
|For the religious Priests,
Friars and Nuns, living in Haiti is difficult, obviously, without electricity;
a generator alone provides some to the Mission. Paved roads are rare and
vehicles suffer and often break down.
With your 4 X 4 (already tired of its sojourn in Haiti) fully loaded with building supplies, you are crossing the river but time is short and there it breaks down, and you get stuck in the mud! Then you need to go look for help!
Just imagine us, ironing
clothes! With a coal iron, at the light of a kerosene lamp! "Sparks
from the coal spot the clothes, and a gust of wind blows the lamp off."
It is only a matter of patience…
One of our Sisters testifies
to it through these simple, short anecdotes. Speaking to charming though
mischievous little Francis, while catching a glimpse of the doubtful
appearance of his hands, at lunch time:
|At the Mission, our little
Sisters dedicate themselves entirely day and night to handicapped children
and also orphaned babies. This represents a great deal of work and abnegation.
Little Joseph, entrusted
to us by his father (a widower at that time, now deceased) was nothing
but skin and bones; at 18 months, he did not yet walk, and would cause
you to be thrilled with horror. Today, he is a very healthy little boy.
Not a single week elapses without some people asking us to accept one more child, for a host of reasons, each one very acceptable: no money; nothing to eat; the
|child is sick or so close to death… the mother, so young… maybe 13 or 14! Sometimes, she already has 2 or 3! She lost her mind, the child was found, living in an old car framework; the mother died when giving birth; the little one is handicapped… So extreme a poverty; so little means to tackle it! So extreme a poverty; so scarce are the volunteers! So extreme a poverty: where can it be sheltered? So extreme a poverty; so many innocent victims!Please allow yourselves to be touched by God's appeal, to come and help our Work! God is calling you to dedicate yourselves and give some of your love, your material means and your time to suffering mankind. Doing so, while helping us, you are directly helping the poor, for our religious people do not perceive any salary, and all support is directly invested into our charitable works.|