Yesterday afternoon around 4pm we had the honor of hosting a team of officials from the USA Embassy!
When there is violence in Port-au-Prince – we often get phone calls about whether or not it’s safe to travel in Haiti. The Chief of Missions has become our personal friend and He is who we contact in regards to safety for our travelers. He has been extremely helpful in the past several months personally emailing us with detailed information. While we became friends through email – we hadn’t actually met until yesterday.
On Thursday he called and told us he would like to bring some friends – including the Deputy Chief of USAID, an assistant of Hillary Clinton, & a few other officials to the Mole to see our work and check out our village. He told us he was swinging by the market and wanted to know what food we wanted! He brought us bags of groceries and a box of Army Rations. So thoughtful!
It was such an honor to be called – we immediately began making preparations.
I don’t think they believed us when we said it’s a 10 hour drive from PAP to Mole! But they believe us now! They were hoping to arrive early afternoon but didn’t make it until closer to 4pm.
Imagine a little sleepy town with no traffic. There are no tap-taps or motorbikes. Now all of a sudden 3 white Landrovers and 1 black Cadillac Escalade pulls up in front of the house! They had bodyguards with them (with guns) walking with them! Needless to say it caused quite the stir!
Jose took them to the hotel and checked them in. He spent an hour or so showing them the town and telling about our ministry before they even came up for dinner. The Chief of Missions was stationed in Honduras before Haiti. He and Jose became fast friends!!
The Deputy for USAID said that Hillary and Bill Clinton really love Haiti and want to come up with ways to help it financially grow. He is here looking at potential projects and ideas that He can bring back to them to invest in.
We shared with them about the big hub in St. Louis du Nord and what we’re trying to accomplish here in the Northwest Zone. It was really neat that our Embassy Friend – David – kept telling everyone – REPEATEDLY – you know that the Northwest zone is the poorest. They could really use a lot of attention this way!!
They really have a heart for the homeless – and though they have seen many orphanages – they haven’t seen many “elderly” orphanages – like our Granmoun Centers. They are interested in putting a shipping dock/port here in the Mole to help generate some activity in this area. We were planning to take them out by boat today to look at the fishing villages we help and to get a good grasp on the coastal area but the ocean was too rough.
Instead we had an extended breakfast with homemade cinnamon rolls! They told us they mainly eat Haitian food in PAP. Very rarely are the treated with something like this! I bet they thanked us 5 times for breakfast! It was a little odd eating with the body guards around – but I always love a new experience in Haiti!
This morning we were really able to share our hearts and dreams for the Haitian people. They were impressed with our backgrounds, the fact that the mission has been here over 30 years, the number of Americans we bring in yearly, and the number of Haitian employees it takes to run our programs.
We told them about our new aquaponics program in St. Louis. They love anything involving agriculture and livestock. So we also spent some time sharing about the chicken ministry and how we’d love to start a factory/farm out here to employee more Haitians.
They were very attentive and extremely kind. They prayed before the meals and really wanted to know our “ministry” as opposed to just the humanitarian things that we accomplish through it.
They said over and over how truly impressed they were with our organization and that they have a lot of potential projects to report back! Regardless of what they do – we are now on their radar which is a pretty huge deal!
Not bad for just another weekend in the Mole!!