We went to CONASPEH and had a closing/evaluation session with Patrick and Francoise Villier. They encouraged our questions and feedback. We discussed the education and computer programs. They very much appreciate our feedback and contributions. We both agree this is a relationship of mutual and deepening friendship. They told us more about the various CONASPEH educational programs and scholarships and feeding programs for the school. We exchanged gifts and were greeted with a wonderful lunch with wine. This event occassioned several toasts and increased the conviviality.
In the afternoon the nursing director sat down with the AIC nursing instructor and students to discuss what is needed to obtain Haitian accreditation for the CONASPEH nusring program. Of immediate need is a nursing laboratory and library. Then we took off to visit a small orphanage. These are always very sad because they are so poorly equipped. We brought shoes and clothes. There are 19 orphans there and most seemed reasonably healthy and active. The jovial pastor and his wife run the simple orphanage and have six children of their own. The orphans proudly showed us their new shoes we brought and the pastor commented that now they would have shoes to wear to church on Sunday. Our final stop was at a chicken raising project CONASPEH started with the graduating seniors. They have about 300 chickens and sell the eggs and, eventually, the chickens. Some eggs are eaten and others are to reproduce more chickens.
Pauline and I had a very good conversation with Miguelson over dinner at the guest house. Life is not easy for him. He is the primary support of his four younger brothers and sisters, both financially and emotionally. His parents are out in the countryside trying to eke out a living. Miguelson often has to pay their school costs as well as see that they do their homework, while pursuing his own university education, a significant responsibility for a 24-year old. He very much appreciates our support and now I better understand why he calls us Mom and Dad, a Haitian custom. I am so glad we helped him make contact with Mario Joseph, the leading human rights lawyer in Haiti, with whom he can do a law internship next year. Our relationship with Miguelson is so meaningful for us and for him!
We will be leaving tomorrow morning, so this will be the last Haiti journal. Thanks to all who are listening and to your support and contributions for Haiti and this First Churches venture to CONASPEH.