Beef. Pumpkins. Carrots. These Haitians must be making soup joumou (JOO-moo).
Once, Haiti was a colony of France. That means France controlled it. French officials enslaved Haitian people. Back then, enslaved persons weren’t allowed to eat the spicy dish. When Haitians gained their freedom, the dish got a nickname: “independence soup.”
Haitians traditionally eat the soup on Sunday mornings. For many Haitians, it provides connection. Traditions help maintain culture. (A person’s culture is his or her beliefs, customs, and way of life.)
“It makes people proud,” says Haitian Wilfred Cadet, slurping soup joumou. “No matter what happens [in Haiti], the soup is going to stay around.”
Go, eat your bread with joy. — Ecclesiastes 9:7
The Last Hospital
Many hospitals in violent Port-Au-Prince have closed. But Fontaine Hospital Center stays open. Patients fill the halls. Some have a disease called cholera. Some have wounds from gang fights. Some are starving.
Others have everyday needs. Expectant moms need doctors to check on their babies.
Hospital employees put themselves in danger to serve the needy. Many live onsite instead of mingling with the treacherous gangs outside.
“We don’t pick sides,” says hospital director Loubents Jean Baptiste. The hospital cares for anyone in need.
This part of the city overflows with desperation. Families bake mud pies to satisfy hunger. But in a place that may seem abandoned by God, He put a sanctuary: Hospital Fontaine.