Sunday, January 7, 2007

from Father Patrick Samway, SJ

Father Patrick dropped us a line. His photo was taken last week as he sat and read in our Guest House at Castel-Pere. Remember? Thank you, Patrick, for your kind words. Here they are:

Even though the bus ride from Port-au-Prince to Les Cayes is stifflingly cramped (trust me on that score), it is always well worth it. I particularly enjoy the last 40 minutes, when I can glimpse the southern sea coast, brilliant blue and framed by gracefully swaying palm trees. But most special is to arrive at Vilaj Espwa and see the astonishing advances that have been made there. I remember when this area was just a gigantic empty field; now it bustles with activity in every corner. New dorm buildings have been erected; a solidly built school and an open-air chapel resembling an airport hangar occupy places of importance; a huge soccer field welcomes eager athletes; professionals and apprentice farmers alike cultivate acres and acres of eggplant, tomatoes, Congo beans, corn, and other nourishing vegetables. Marc Boisvert, O.M.I., has built, with the help of a gifted staff and the support from friends and relatives in the States, a remarkable village for boys, most of whom come from homes without parents. Steadfastly, day in and day out, during sunny weather and tropical hurricanes, Father Boisvert expends his energies totally for the boys in his charge. And most astonishing, to me at least, is that throughout all this he radiates a calmness, even-handedness, and trust that comes with years of reflection and prayer. It is no wonder that Marc and the boys at Vilaj Espwa have become my teachers. Yo mèt m’, yo ye. And that’s why I look forward to this bumpity-bumbity bus ride, which has become for me a yearly pilgrimage.
Patrick Samway, S.J.
Professor of English
Saint Joseph’s University
Philadelphia, PA

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