On Sunday we wanted to make it to church so we could see our friends there after being away so long. The only catch is that it’s up in the mountains and the road is hard to get up during the dry season, let alone when it’s been raining and the road has been washing out.
I made Chris promise that if we got to a point where we wondered if we’d be able to make it that we’d just turn around. You have to know my husband to understand why this was important to discuss ahead of time. For those of you that do, you know why. Basically he likes to push the limits, so there have been occasions where I may have been crying because his limits and my limits are apparently not the same. Maybe.
We set off and actually made it to the top. There was a vehicle that was blocking the last bit of the road and after talking to a few people we found out that it in fact ran out of gas. Not exactly the place I’d want to run out of gas considering that the climb up the hill is really thrashing your vehicle over rocks for most of it. I did notice that his tires were a bit flat too. I can’t imagine that made for a comfy ride up.
The walk to church from the car is pretty. We walk a little foot path carved into the side of a hill. It does start out between the hill and a banana field, but then opens up to a valley. I always try to make a point of looking out when we’re on the way because it’s beautiful first thing in the morning when things are still cool and fresh. It’s like a little pocket of rainforest.
Right after that view point the path literally is carved into the side of the hill. If you get to crazy you’ll fall down the bank and into the brush and maybe end up in the stream about 40 feet down. And yes, we do this with kids.
We go up over a small rise in the path and then down to the stream. They’ve just done a reservoir project up there so there are some new little dams for the water to flow over. During the dry season there isn’t much water running and you can walk on rocks to get across. During the rainy season it’s another story. There are still rocks that are poking out, but they’re not dry and there are only a couple. Definitely a situation where you need to get your momentum and just go.
I, do not have that momentum and would have fallen on my butt. So, I decided to take my shoes off and walk on the top of the little dam, which really did prove to be the easiest way to do it, considering the fact that I had Alex in the sling. It was all good until I had to put my shoes back on and try to walk up the muddy hill in slippery shoes. Thankfully people saw us coming and Fritzner came down to meet us and gave me a hand to hold all the way up. Then, he did a very sweet thing at the top – he had me take my shoes off, washed them, and washed my feet too.
The bible talks about foot washing and that it’s an act of service. Today I was so touched that he wanted to make sure my feet were clean. What was more touching is that someone offered up a gallon of water to do it. In Haiti, water is something that we have a great reverence for in some ways because we know that people often have to work really hard to get it, and here it was just being poured over my feet. So they wouldn’t be muddy. Part of me wanted to protest, but then something told me to just accept the gesture because not doing so would be offensive. Those moments here are hard.
After sitting for almost 4 hours we decided it was time to head home. We were out of diapers and church was still going on. This time I decided to take my shoes off and leave them off until we got almost all the way to the car. It was a lot easier and I felt a little more Haitian because of it. I mean, it’s not uncommon to see people walking around the mountains with no shoes on. Why can’t I be one of them?