Last week I had the privilege and adventure of accompanying 23 lay people, two CFR sisters and five of our brothers on a Friar Suppliers' on a mission trip to Carrefour, Haiti. Friar Suppliers is an organization that donates food and other supplies to the CFR friaries and convents in the New York area on a monthly basis; Charlie and Joan Moran coordinate the efforts out of their flower shop in Lindenhurst, Long Island. It grew out of a group of families committed to praying for and supporting the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Renewal. Every year since 2004, under Charlie's fearless and faith-filled leadership, they have made a mission trip to assist the people of Haiti, travelling twice in 2010 in the wake of the January 12, 2010 earthquake that took so many lives and caused such extensive damage. A small parallel medical team has made additional visits in between the larger annual trips. This year we happened to fly into Port-au-Prince on the second anniversary of that disaster.
|Remnants of an emergency tent city near the airport.|
|Ruins of the cathedral (above) and a government building (below)|
in downtown Port-au-Prince.
Even before the earthquake, Haiti was strapped with serious problems, struggling to climb out from under decades of colonial rule, occupation, dictatorship and gross governmental mismanagement. The earthquake magnified that struggle beyond the breaking point. Even basic services such as trash removal seem beyond the capability of the capital municipal government.
|A drainage canal filled with refuse.|
|Colorfully painted and richly adorned "tap tap" taxis (above and below).|
In the next few days I'll be sharing additional photos and experiences from the trip.