Snag a tap tap after the church service and veer off dusty Route Nationale 1 road through the royal blue and red metal door. Collapse into a white plastic picnic chair on the porch and the waitress already knows the order.
Sip Coke out of 1/2 litre glass bottles and mow down on rice, plantain and the best fried chicken in the world - and if you have room left in your belly, there is even coconut ice cream to top it off.
There's my plug for Gwopapapou... Hope your mouth is watering.
Today I was privileged to dine with my friends, Sadrac and Wicky along with Sadrac's sister, Sidonie. Sidonie goes to school in the Dominican Republic and is studying to be a pediatrician. She is home until the new year, so I saw her at the church service this morning and then she was able to join us for lunch!
When the plates arrived, we bowed our heads to pray and Wicky suggested that Sidonie pray for our meal in Spanish. I agreed and then offered to pray in Creole as well (I'm trying!). With that, Wicky said that he would pray in English, and then Sadrac chimed in that he would pray in French. So thus began our very 'cultural' prayer time!
As we said our 'Amens' I looked around at the faces around me and I realized the simplicity and also the miracle of the moment. Miles away from my Canadian family, friends, climate and language, I felt overwhelmed by the sense of community and love that I was able to share with this 'Haitian family'. Despite the culture barrier, there was such a sense of unity, love and community... It was the kingdom of God!
I sit here tonight as a testament to how universal and powerful God's love is. How a timid little girl in pop-bottle glasses, who can barely have courage to go next door and play with the neighbour can be the same one to jump on a plane alone and fly hundreds of miles from the 'safety net' of home to be welcomed in by a bunch of strangers... And ultimately, how these foreign people have earned my trust, respect, and seized a special place of my heart.
Sidonie, Wicky, Sadrac, Volcy, Sandi, Jean Ronald, Nahomie, Erta, Patris, Natalie, Billy, Vena, Mommy Edit, Fan Fan, Carpel, Dooken, Jean Jacques, Charlins, Rosemond, Naliz, Poppy Patris, Zo, Mimose, Mommy Sadrac, Dusten, Mr. Marc, Wontousley, Madame Cheep Cheep, and the many others who I fail to mention in this moment...
Thank you for overlooking my quirky Canadian default modes and calling me your sister. Thank you for seeing beyond my limited language and encouraging me in ways that don't require words. Thank you for challenging my shallow views. Thank you for reminding me of what true joy is. Thank you for inspiring me with generosity and selflessness. Thank you for adopting me into your family.
And thank you for prayers around a patio set.