However, last week I had a treat. We had a team in helping out with a vbs and at the end of the week they got a day off. I have to admit I was a little disappointed to hear they chose going to the mountains over the beach. I love mountains, but I’d already been in January, so I was hoping they would choose the beach. The night before I found out we were going to different mountains than I’d been before so that I could see another part of the island. I got a little more excited. Then Mary Jane told everyone to bring clothes to swim in because there’d most likely be a beach for swimming once we reached Jacmel, our destination city. What?! Mountains and the beach in one day? “I am one lucky girl.” I thought.
Bright and early, and possibly half asleep, we prepared for our day trip. I threw together a bag of towels, sunglasses, money, camera and ya know, all that tourist stuff I might need. Being an indecisive person I threw in an extra pair of clothes, just in case. Then the driver didn’t show up. So we called him. He thought we had a different driver lined up, but being a good sport he came for us on last minute. We finally got out the door around ten, two hours past planned time. No sooner had we pulled onto the highway did we get met with a traffic jam. Now those nasty things are way too common here, and so I’ve grown used to traffic jams nearly every time I go anywhere here, but this was a might-as-well-turn-off-the-engine-and-walk traffic jam. Oh, did I mention the driver also misunderstood how many people we had, so we were all quite cozy with each other, kind of like a can of sardines. Eventually the traffic got moving and we were off.
We began to climb higher. The winding road up was better than any roller coaster ride. The view got incredible. What I had seen before was hills compared to this. This was mountains. And it was unlike any other mountains I’d ever seen before. (I’m used to snowcapped mountains in the Rockies) Some were bare and brown, but still gorgeous, and some were lush and green, filled with terrace gardens. Pretty soon we were in the clouds. And the view. Pictures will never do it justice.
After breathing in the cool, mountain air we hit sea. Ocean, really. Our destination was a hotel placed in a cove-looking area, surrounded by tropical flowers, palm trees, lush green grass, and hammocks. Tropical paradise, anyone? We placed our food orders - I got fish - and hit the water. We had a baptism service where four members of the team got baptized. It was a special time welcoming them into the Body of Christ.
We went swimming in the lovely torqoise water for about an hour. Oh, and my extra change of clothes? While a bunch of us were swimming I noticed the Haitain girl with us wasn't in the water. I went to invite her in, and our driver said "Oh, she said she doesn't want to." Mary Jane said "She didn't bring clothes." I said "Oh, but I have some for her!" and then turned to her, and begged her to join, which she did, and emensly enjoyed, I might add.
Lunch was delicious, minus the millions of bones in my fish. Gosh those things have lots of bones, but it was good none the less. I might add that I ate an eye too, just because I could.
Some people had set up tables of souvenirs along one of the beach areas, so we all headed down there to get some deals. It was fun, and brought back memories of bartering in Tanzania.
Shortly after this we headed back towards home, with no major events on the road. I still long to live by the sea, AND be able to go to it often, but I am thankful for the day in Jacmel. The mountains really do claim the majesty of God and that place where water meets sky...it has always left me in awe of the gloriousness of God. Our God is an awesome God, the best of all artists.