Author: Samantha Drowley
My home is in Dessalines, Haiti. My family moved to Haiti as missionaries in August 2012. Dessalines is a beautiful city and has a very unique history. Your first morning in Haiti you will wake up and experience a beautiful sunrise. The clouds and sun are absolutely gorgeous and unique every morning. When people come to visit I am always anxious to show them the old, deteriorating forts that are built on the mountains around the city. The forts were used to protect the city from the French. At one time Dessalines was the capital, and the ruler was Jean Jacques Dessalines. I also enjoy taking them for a walk on the cobblestone streets to visit the Haitian market on Saturdays. These markets are filled with people and street vendors. In Haiti bartering is widely accepted. The vendors enjoy bartering back and forth with their customers. Very often they join us at church and meet our pastors and the congregation. Every American that comes is asked to sing for the church.
Madam Suze and Joceleen are two women that thoroughly enjoy cooking Haitian meals for every team that comes in. The meal includes chicken, fried plantains, “taiio,” and, of course, Haitian rice and beans. Another popular food with our guests is the homemade bread made by one of our girls, Shirley. The bread is absolutely fantastic and melts in your mouth. There is no comparison to store bought bread. Because we live at and run an orphanage, the people that visit us get to spend lots of time with the children. The kids range in age from zero to eighteen years old. At night the city is full of life. You can hear music from the neighbor’s houses, people talking, roosters crowing, pigs squealing and drums. One fun thing to do on the weekends, or over week long breaks from school, is take the kids to the beach. There is a beautiful, clear, and private beach about an hour and fifteen minutes from the orphanage.
Probably the most wonderful thing people can do while they are visiting us is seeing our children. They are the most beautiful and wonderful kids I have ever had the privilege of working with. They love playing games such as soccer and memory cards and like drawing and coloring pictures.