In the midst of all the work and stress that comes along with full time operations of ministry and construction and staffing, Marc and the long term missionaries took a short weekend trip to clear their heads and breathe some air on the other end of the island. They took a long trek to northern Haiti, to Cap Haitian. That's a long trip for 8 people in a vehicle made for 5-7. Makes for a bonding time. They got to visit Laberdee, which is a beach off the northern coast near Cap Haitien where the cruise ships stop. Major revenue goes right to the Haitian government from the cruise ships docking there and none of the locals benefit from those funds. The beach is closed to locals on days that the cruise ships are docked and they don't even tell passengers that they have landed in Haiti. They say Labadi is a private island off the coast of Hispaniola. At any rate, Laberdee is a beautiful paradise, how all of Haiti should look.
Then they got to go to the Citadel. The mountaintop fortress is the largest in the world and was built by Henri Christophe, a key leader during the Haitian slave rebellion, after Haiti gained independence from France at the beginning of the 19th century. The massive stone structure was built by up to 20,000 workers between 1805 and 1820 as part of a system of fortifications designed to keep the newly independent nation of Haiti safe from French incursions. It's an amazing place. The Haitians outfitted the fortress with 365 cannons of varying size. These were obtained from various nations, and still bear the crests of 18th Century monarchs. Enormous stockpiles of cannonballs still sit in pyramidal stacks at the base of the fortress walls. Since its construction, the fortress has withstood numerous earthquakes, though a French attack never came and it was eventually abandoned.
So, I am officially jealous, being over here in Alberta in -12 blizzardy weather, while Marc and our friends got to tour this great historical monument in Haiti. Why am I hear again? No, honestly, I am blessed that I get to have this time with the kids here, though I miss being with Marc and everyone in Haiti and I am very eager to get back there in the New Year.
You can see some great photos of their trip that Cassie VanCamp has posted on her Facebook page
Here are a few photos from their adventure: