Sunday, October 31, 2010

Haitian Hospitality

Through the IFRP food distribution grant I am able to travel all over the southern part of the country delivering food to our schools and earthquake relief families. Last week, I had the pleasure of traveling to a small village outside of Camp Perrin called Tibi.

Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house we go. Literally.

Tigre, our driver knows Tibi very well- he grew up there. After our food delivery, we stopped by his grandmother's house. She welcomed us with open arms, kissed our cheeks and quickly gathered chairs for us to sit on. She directed a young boy to collect coconuts from her tree, and he quickly sliced them open with a machete so we could drink the coconut milk. As we finished she brought us freshly brewed coffee to drink on the blazingly hot afternoon.

She apologized for not being able to offer us more.

Tigre's mother left him after he was born to pursue a better life in Port au Prince. Tigre's grandmother raised him, which is why he chooses to call her "Mami" instead of "Grandma".

When we finished both of our beverages, she led us to her well where she presented us with soap and a towel to rinse our hands and faces before we made our journey back down the mountain.

She reluctantly kissed us good-bye and told us she will be waiting for us to return.

Whether announced or unannounced, visitors are always treated with respect and grace. It is the Haitian way.

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