Our last day in Port-de-Paix was nothing less than a surreal celebration. We concluded our small helping roles in starting these business and left control in the hands of our entrepreneurs. Beyond the businesses, we cultivated relationships that we will sorely miss. Although Ryan and I (Evan) could not teach our entrepreneur, Elon, soap-making with actual lye, we have grown so fond of his quiet diligence in learning the process and with his thoughtfulness in implementing once all the ingredients are obtained. I wish I could stay and watch him bring his business to life, but I also feel confident that he can launch and expand his soap business without us, which is a gratifying feeling. I think we are all sad to leave the people here but happy to know that the respective businesses have a reasonable shot at thriving on their own.

Before we left, we celebrated our newfound community with a game of Futbol! Small houses and shacks on hillsides surrounded the rock-filled dirt field. It was as if we were playing in an organic coliseum. As we played, the surrounding community flocked to the field. The once peaceful soccer field became a chaotic scene of kids starting sideline scrimmages, families meeting and greeting, and young men lining up to join the next game. At half time, Tommy gave a devotional, translated by Handson, about striving for the Kingdom of God like an athlete training for victory. The whole experience was a fun and fulfilling way to end a fruitful week and to wish our friends in Port-de-Paix well before we depart this evening.

– Evan Kramer

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