Thursday, May 6, 2010

Dominican Republic Trip Re-cap, Villa Ascension

This is the view of the Hatian village called Villa Ascension from the hills above. Out of view to the right is what they call the Old Village. That village is on "Company" land. The sugar cane industry originally brought Hatians to the DR to cut cane. When the processing factory folded years ago, they left their workers with no place to go, no work, and no hope. Notice the sugar cane in the foreground and surrounding the village.

The one and only road into or out of the Hatian villiage.

One of the dwellings in the Old Village. Richard James is the man we are talking to about raising tilapia to help the people of Villa Ascension. He was our guide as we walked through the village. He came to the DR with Mercy Ships about 6 years ago - and never left. He lives among the people in the same conditions. Now he has a small piece of land in the hills above the villages. The people come to him when they need help, food, or have medical needs.

A girl and her baby sit in front of the local voodoo preist's place. Voodoo is no joke here. It is real and a part of the culture. This was the place where I felt most uncomfortable during the trip. Stefan explained to me that it was normal to feel that way, but what have we to fear? The creator of the universe is our God. These "priests" are in need of God's word and salvation too.

Just a typical dwelling with a family in front. Seeing the children was difficult for me. That could be my Emma sitting there naked, dirty, and hungry.

Babys sleeping on the concrete floor of a Company dwelling with Mama watching over.

This little Hatian girl lives in the shack behind her. It was very humbling to walk through their village and take photos of their homes. The people of Villa Ascention and the "Old Village" were very gracious and open. They invited us into their homes and offered to share what they had.

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