Monday, April 2, 2012

Palm Sunday in Haiti

On Palm Sunday, in Haiti, the streets are filled with men,women and children carrying woven pices of palm leaves as they leave the many churches that are such an important part of the landscape.  I am aware that I have lost all concept of time and that I am surprised that Easter will be next week.  .

Although Quakers did not make particular note of Palm Sunday, I am familiar with the events related to it in the Bible and the practice of giving out palms the week before Easter.  I look around me and realize  that real palm trees are everywhere and that there is no need to import anyor make plastic look alikes. I am aware these must have been trees of shade and importance in Jesus's life.  I see too the many donkies in Haiti that  help the market women carry charcoal from the mountains.  I think about how over two thousand years ago a donkey carried Jesus as they laid palsm on the road and how little that landscape has changed in many parts of the world where donkies are a common form of transportation and palm trees are a part of everyday life.

In this way, I refelct on Palm Sunday.  At lunch everyone tries to discuss what it means.  I say that I think it was Jesus's decsion to face conflict and not run away from those who did not agee or understasnd him.  He oculd have just kept going the other way but did not. I said I thought it was about not beig afraid to say what you believe despite the consequences and that is is about having faith in something greater than ones own self. 

I think about the many corageous people who came down out of the mountians to speak up for peace, freedom and justice everywhere and ecspecailly here in Haiti. 

Later there is a simple parade by the clinic in which  they carry charcaol wrapped up to look like Jesus's body, they say.  We can't tell wha tis happeing but hurry out to see.

It will be a busy Hioly Week.  They play religious music all  night long and Sunday there is the Baptism of Madame Caluden;s gradnchild of whom I am Godmother. Today, I am expected to go to the big market and buy the baby a dress.  Given how little I like to shop for clothing anywhere this seems a little overwhelming.  She will be Baptrized on Easter morning and afterwards there will be a big meal and a celebratiuon of this baby who has been such an important part of my jouney here in Haiti.

On Saturday, in the clininc, we had a woman come in with  a large, vertical c-section scar.  She was psuhing so we just prayed it would all go well and it did.  I am very thankful for this as they are quite dangerous.   

It is getting very warm again. I am spending some time creating a training program for the Matwans at a small fishing village by the sea which I will talk about another time.

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