Our Sisters in Haiti
Providence, always there, but it will still come through our sisters at the novitiate house, who are ready to share with us the water that regularly comes into their tank. There is a shortage of fuel for the generator, especially if electric power, scarce at the moment, were interrupted; there is a shortage of propane gas, but we also have coal, so there is always room for confidence and creativity to survive...
It is from the heart of the International Gathering of Sisters in Initial Formation and Formators in Ongoing Formation that we lived the impact of the tragic death of the President of the Republic of Haiti last July 7.
In this Gathering, I am aware of the formation that I receive every day, living with sisters from three different cultures: Haitian, Egyptian and Cameroonian, in addition to my own, Canadian, and with sisters of the “new” generation, sisters in their twenties and early thirties.
My sisters have already spoken about the first reactions to the situation in the country and with scarce analysis of the situation, for now, confusion still reigns in Haiti and elsewhere.
I also feel anxious when I see the shortages: drinking water is scarcer nowadays because our water tank is very low due to the lack of rain, and because of the damage in the system of conduction in our sector. No repair is possible shortly.
Providence, always there, but it will still come through our sisters at the novitiate house, who are ready to share with us the water that regularly comes into their tank. There is a shortage of fuel for the generator, especially if electric power, scarce at the moment, were interrupted; there is a shortage of propane gas, but we also have coal, so there is always room for confidence and creativity to survive…
I am also becoming aware of my community and personal “Canadian” reflexes; I am stocking up for the dark days to come, like the squirrel in the fall stocks up on nuts to get through the winter.
However, I can say that I reduce my anxieties by sharing them with others and by hearing the emotions of my sisters in the community. As our vulnerabilities meet solutions arise and if they are not available yet, it is Hope that gets us through the difficult situations with our humor and activities to lighten the mood.
Above all, all this is lived with regular times of community prayer: prayer in church with the breviary and our life experiences, adoration, and Compline every evening before the night’s rest.
I also want to add the dimension of the “Variant”, especially in Port-au-Prince and the surrounding areas, where bishops and religious have died from the coronavirus. However, no other people affected talk about it, and often, fortunately, because of their younger age, they heal at home by taking remedies of teas with natural leaves.
Having known the painful experience of our sisters with Covid-19 in Montreal, I do not hide my concern about this virus for our two houses in Haiti, knowing that the vaccine is not yet available. I feel much better now, encouraged by the community nurse, Juedie, to strengthen our immune system with vitamin C, D and the inhalation of the vapors obtained by infusing ginger, clove, garlic, and/or leaves in hot water, which we then drink. Moreover, there is hope for vaccines soon…
At this time, I feel that we are learning to live differently, and I am sure that it is thanks to the faith of the Haitian people. Their faith also nourishes my faith in Providence and my spirituality of Mary at the foot of the Cross of her son who suffers, and that I see incarnated in the Haitian people, always waiting for truth, liberation, and peace.
I truly feel in communion with you in writing these lines, because you love us, you pray for us, you are eager to see us in person and it is reciprocal.
Providence of God, I thank you for all
Diane Sarrasin, SP