Yes, there are roosters even in the busy part of the city of Port-au-Prince (PAP). We started with an EARLY breakfast at Matthew House, then loaded six of the big duffles into Renee's Ford F250, fitted with benches in the back. The duffles were loaded with uniforms, cleats, balls, socks, etc. 
With eight of us riding exposed on the open-air benches, we rumbled through the streets of PAP while they started getting busy and the locals started their day.  Even cosidering the various types of colorful vehicles in all stages of broken-down that shared the road, we were quite a spectacle, drawing stares, comments, waves, and other gestures.  Eventually, we made our way to the highway, and about forty minutes after starting,  we arrived at a school in Onerville, the site of the tournament. 
In spite of being planned for months, there were more teams than expected, and if you've ever planned any tournament you can imagine the schedule rework that Brian juggled as they lined the fields and started the games. And, the referees and security we were looking forward to never materialized. No worries; Will was center referee for all games, Diane guarded everything all day, and everyone else hauled water, were assistant referees, administered the tournament, and played with kids until the end of the day. It was a lot of effort, but felt more like play than work.
The kids were adorable. They translated English/Spanish/Creole as possible, played, climbed on us, danced, smiled, laughed, but mostly begged for water. It tore our hearts out. The heat, wind and dust just magnified everyone's thirst.
We walked about a half mile to buy crackers and change money, walked back a quarter mile to buy water, then hauled as much water as we could carry from there. Most people had to carry their water much further for more than just drinking. In general, living conditions were horrible. In spite of all that, the kids were joyful and the games were spirited and competitive. Tomorrow, we'll figure out a way to bring more water, but it's still just a drop in a bucket, so to speak.
We rode back to Mathew house for showers, dinner, and devotions. Everyone had reflections on the day, on what we were accomplishing, who made it possible, and who we were missing. It was the longest discussion so far. The man who runs the school and set up the tournament is Vogley. His influence on the kids directly and the community at large is amazing. His kids are remarkable in their manners and friendliness. He's having a positive impact on many people, and it's humbling to support him. For example, when we started handing out the New Testament in Creole, word spread and we soon ran out. As Will was trying to start the second half of a game, they asked for a little more time to finish their prayer thanking God for the day. Tomorrow we return to finish the tournament and then visit friends at New Life. There will be some prayerful decompression before I fall asleep  tonight.

Mike

Posted
AuthorDerek Rogers