This weekend we went in another trip. It was supposed to be a mission trip, but because of the short planning time and transportation complications, we just ended up going as a family to scout out the land, so to speak. Pastor Beauvoir, who is our academic director of the tech school, is a visionary man like Marc. He has a church in Petit Goave and another church he helps oversee in Camp Perrin, with lots of vision for ministry I these areas. He's been pestering us to come visit for at least a year. So we packed up the kids, plus buddy Ken (who's practically family too) and headed west. It was a beautiful drive across the mountains and I just love Camp Perrin- clean, finished houses and orderly streets. Seems the farther away you get from Port Au Prince, the nicer and more orderly it is. Since we went Friday and Pastor Beauvoir didn't meet us til Sat night there, we had to find a hot that could accommodate our sprawling family. Last year when Marc and I traveled there with Laurens and Louisa on an agricultural tour trip, we stayed at a cute place w bungalows. But this time we found another place that had a pool which was a plus for the kids.
So in Haiti, finding lodging, food and service is that is of a standard that we'd look for while traveling, poses big challenges. You can usually find one or the other, but all three conditions to be satisfactory together?! Rare. This little place called Kanp Inn was nice, clean, finished (speaking of the construction) and the beds were comfy. Granted the AC was a no go, the bathroom door didn't shut in our room and the key was lodged in the door for the boys room, but it was acceptable. The second condition we were looking for was food- there was supposedly a restaurant. The seating area and bar claimed so, as well as the posted menu, but the only thing available was fried pork, goat or fish (which they only had four left). We ordered at 7pm and planned with the lady to return from a walk to eat at 8pm. We are always hopeful, right? Well, we went for a lovely walk, admiring the homes and well kept flowerbeds, something not easily found in Grand-Goave. We toured a huge monestary where priests are trained for Catholic service, and we returned to the hotel at 8 on the dot. Then we waited.............. By 10pm all our food finally arrived as the kids were ready to sleep on their plates. The food was... Ok. So out of three, we got lodging and food, sort of. The service.... I think she thought she was doing us a favor by even giving us food. In the morning, we had a better server, but we had to give her money to go buy milk for our coffee (which was supposed to be included).
We had a blast on Saturday taking the kids out to see the sights. There's a big dam in Camp Perrin. That captures and channels the river water, which is clean and fresh and in abundance. Local kids showed us how they jump into the small falls of the dam and get swirled around In the whirlpool. What a fun time! We spent a few hours swimming there, had some snacks for lunch, then drove up to Saut Maturine, a huge waterfall. It's beautiful! There's also a restaurant and small hotel hanging over the edge of the cliff facing the falls- scary. I'd never stay there, though it looks neat, as it is clearly not built well, or even finished for that matter. But their service is awesome. Austin had fallen asleep and Marc went to sit with him in the restaurant. The owner let him lay Austin down in his own room to sleep. They were very eager to serve us, but a group of 30 young people had shown up and pretty much exhausted their food supply, so they had nothing to prepare for us to eat there. The kids and I swam in the crystal clear pool of the falls for a while and watch some crazy guys jump from the top of them which had to be at least 30 feet. Then we went on our way.
Alas, That evening we searched high and low for another restaurant to eat at and found a great hotel and restaurant with excellent service! All three in one! Their rooms were all full unfortunately, but we will be sure to stay there next time.
Sunday morning we went with Pastor Beauvoir into the mountains a bit just outside Camp Perrin to the little church he oversees. A great group of faithful followers, clapping hands and beating tambourines. They were so happy to have us there. The kids sang a song for the church and I shared my testimony then Marc preached. The service was done by 11, and then it started pouring rain, so we held out, waiting for the rains to pass. Then they took us up to a house for coffee and bread. All such lovely, hospitable people- in fact, I know that if we stayed there next time, we'd find all three- comfy beds, good food and friendly service, cause they'd receive us in their homes. This is the thing about Haitians- they are very hospitable and love having visitors In their homes. But to go find somewhere to pay for a good spot is a challenge.
It was a great trip though- fun with the kids, refreshing and a beautiful relaxing spot plus we got to meet more of the members of our great family in Christ. I look forward to going again.