Pilgrimage to Haiti: Arrival

On Friday, Feb. 28, seven pilgrims from the Diocese of California departed for Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to experience the holiness of that country. Through the week, the pilgrims will see firsthand the work of The Episcopal Church in Haiti which provides much of the education and health care services that the under-resourced Haitian government cannot. Early in the coming week, they will have the opportunity to experience Carnival — the vibrant, artistic celebration of Mardi Gras — in Jacmel, the Haitian city which birthed this festivity.

Three of the pilgrims, the Rev. Joseph Peters-Mathews, the Rev. Jude Harmon, and DioCal Intern Grace Aheron experienced a delay in their flight which eventually led to being rerouted to depart from a different airport — after two hours on hold with JetBlue, dozens of group text messages, and three frantic cab rides. In New York City the group met their connecting flight to Port-au-Prince, where they met the Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus and his wife Sheila on Saturday morning, March 1.
 
The development office of The Episcopal Church is coordinating the pilgrimage to raise awareness about the work The Episcopal Church does in Haiti. The pilgrims, including the Rev. Davidson Bidwell-Waite (pictured with Sheila Andrus — left) and his husband Edwin Waite had a leisurely lunch at the Hotel Oloffson before being driven two hours to Jacmel.
 
Upon arrival at the Hotel Florita, the pilgrims had time to recharge and freshen up after hours of travel before dinner. Popular menu items at both hotels are conch and goat. The evening closed with a birthday cake and singing for the Rev. Jude Harmon (pictured — right), whose birthday was March 1.

Taptaps serve as share taxis throughout Haiti and are usually brightly painted.

photos: Joseph Peters-Mathews