Friday, January 18, 2013

astonished at the concert

I was looking through the drafts of posts I'd never finished just now and found this one.  I'd written a long post with a list of things that had astonished me at the concert I attended at the end of November.  And then the power went out before I saved most of it.  AAAARGH.  But I still have the first part, and I remember the thing that surprised me most, so here, in short form, is the nutshell version.

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Orchestre Philharmonique Sainte Trinite, Port-au-Prince, November 2012
This afternoon we went to a concert put on by the Orchestre Philharmonique Sainte Trinite, which is connected with the Holy Trinity Music School at the cathedral in Port-au-Prince.   Sr. Anne Marie started the music school fifty years ago and, while we're no longer officially connected with it in any way, we still support them as we can.  And what a treat it is! 

This afternoon's concert is an annual one in honor of St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music, whose feast day was Thursday.

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I loved the music.  The original post I wrote had quite a bit about it.  What astonished me most, however, was afterwards.

Following the concert, many people gathered around the front near the stage, chatting with musicians and old friends and acquaintances.  I had gone over to greet the bishop and was turning to walk away when I heard him say, "Good evening, Mr. President."  I looked to see who it was; it was definitely not President Martelly.  The man who had walked up to the bishop was no one I recognized, an older man obviously in poor health.  I wondered of what he might be the president and forgot all about it until one of the sisters let me in on it: the man was former president Duvalier. 

I was within a foot of Baby Doc. 


Hearing that was like stepping into the pages of a history book.  It may be all too recent history for some, but he was gone before I even knew where Haiti was. I know he was a teenager when he came to power, but it still seems so long ago to me that it's hard to imagine his still being around, no matter what I know.  And just sitting there quietly at a concert with everyone else. I'm sure there must have been guards present, but I didn't notice them. What will it be next? Aristide at the supermarket? 

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