Just a few hundred yards up the hill from where Pierre and his wife live is a walled village called Grace. It is what we came to see. It is the reason I did everything possible to hand deliver twelve guitars to Haiti. And we went there today.
When we arrived, some kids had already gathered in anticipation of the guitars they knew we were bringing. The staff insisted that we take a tour of the facility before breaking into the day's activities.
Grace Village is an amazing respite from the desert and is so much more than 'less than nothing.' The vision of Fr. Reiser and Healing Haiti has transformed a barren rock outcrop into a truly 21st Century facility that should be the envy of community schools around the world.
There are dorms (which are more like community apartments), two transition homes for the older students, a self sustaining hydroponic farm that grows both tilapia and fresh veggies, a kitchen that feeds 500 people a day, bakery, clinic, pharmacy, large playground, pavilionand of course the pre k-13 school.
All of it under 5 years old, funded by donations and built with Hatian labor.
It is unbelievable.
Following the tour, we got down to business and started a group guitar lesson with the 40 or so kids who were around for the summer program. I took the helm and gave a lesson to the older kids so that they in turn could teach the younger ones. In two hours, there were about twelve kids playing chords and more importantly reading the chord charts so that they could continue playing after we are gone.
While the twelve were learning guitar, the rest were given lessens on the recorders we brought.
There was a cacophony of music and laughter everywhere.
And with that, my work here is....done?