Saturday, March 12, 2016

Day 6 - Water Truck: Episode II

After another great breakfast of french toast, eggs, oatmeal, and fruit, we headed out for our second water truck day. The experience of another water truck day was great, but it was much more different from the first one. Since today is Saturday, adults weren't at work and children weren't at school, making the streets much more crowded than on Wednesday. It was a lot more stressful and chaotic than the first day.

The first stop started with chaos and ended in chaos. As soon as we stepped off the truck we were mobbed by children, each one wanting to be held and loved. Again, we didn't have enough arms to hold them all. Despite that, the kids still loved being held, playing ring around the rosy, and shouting at Tony, calling him "Jackie Chan". Tony was a true celebrity. Kids swarmed us like waves of the Caribbean sea. While we enjoyed them it was very overwhelming. 

Although playing with the kids, giving love, and receiving love was great, our main duty of the day was to deliver water to the community. The line was a lot longer. At the same time, the order was a lot harder to keep. While most people waited in line for their turns, many tried to cut in from the front. This scene is a revelation of the country's problems. The improvement of the country is taking longer than expected due to the lack of resources and infrastructure. 

We finished with the water truck earlier than expected because one of our team members wasn't feeling that well. When we came back we had a snack and enjoyed some free time before heading to the pool for the last time. After we enjoyed the pool, we came back home to see a great meal had been made for us. We sat down and enjoyed a delicious meal of spaghetti and meat sauce. This concluded our second to last day in Haiti.

                             Kayleigh Abell, Antoine (Tony) Guo (Jackie Chan), and Isaac Johnson 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Day 5: A day of challenges

       This day has always been a difficult day for most of the members. It involves a trip to the Home for the Sick and Dying Children and also to Dary's Orphanage. The team was split into two today as the Home for Sick and Dying only accepts ten members at once. While the team was split, the challenges we all faced today grew us closer than ever.
       At Dary's, which is an orphanage for special needs children, we were able to meet about twenty amazing kids. While the language barrier was difficult and it was a little hard to do things with them at first, we all settled in very quickly. We were able to sing many songs with them such as "Glory to God," "This Little Light of Mine," and "10,000 Reasons." The kids sang along joyously and we tried to match the enthusiasm with dance moves and hand motions. We also were able to feed them with apple sauce packets that we brought with us from the guest house. After the singing ended, we picked up some of the kids and threw them in the air, catching them on the way down which caused them to have laughing fits. Eventually, we had to say goodbye to the kids, which was difficult to do, but we all left with a valuable experience from Dary's.
       At the Home for The Sick and Dying Children, a clinic/orphanage that provides for children who are sick, we were in a room with about twenty kids. Though we were not able to care for every one of them, we played with as many of them as we each could. At the time that we were there, it was visiting hour for the parents. So, when the visiting hour was over, the parents had to drop off even more kids in our room. At that point it got really crazy since there were so many kids with us and many of them were crying. That was a really hard moment for us to see the parents having to leave the screaming children behind. Later, when the kids were more settled down, we fed them lunch. Soon enough, it was time to leave. Even though leaving the children was hard and we weren't able to care for all of them, we did what we could and we know that each of their lives are in God's hands.
        Today truly was a day of challenges. From the fun and laughter of Dary's to the solemn and thoughtful moments at the Home for Sick and Dying Children we all learned something new. We grow closer everyday we are here due to experiences such as these. Tomorrow, we will be returning to Cite Soleil to deliver water one more time. We continue to ask for your prayers and your thoughts and we thank you for reading!

-Josiah and Tiana

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Day 4

     To begin day four, we started our day with French Toast (with syrup and Nutella) and Scrambled Eggs (with peppers mixed in). After that hearty breakfast, we took some time to get ready, and then left in the tap-tap for Peace Cycle, a really cool little company. Their goal is to help provide jobs for the Haitians, to clean their community, and to produce products that could be sold in the marketplace. All of these things can be accomplished by the following three things: the dedication of the Haitian workers, faith in God, and little plastic bags. Over five million of the little plastic bags, typically filled with cold water, are used in Haiti every day. Peace Cycle takes these bags and, in a way, recycles them. First, they wash and sanitize the bags, then they sort them into smaller piles, and they use a charcoal iron to press multiple layers of bags into a single, stronger sheet. After that, they cut them into a specific pattern, and finally, these little plastic rectangles are sewn together to create all sorts of cool things, from totes to pencil pouches to laptop bags. All of this work is being done by Haitians, for Haitians. It's a way to provide jobs for the Haitians, and it also helps clean up Haiti (both of which are really good things).
     After a long (and bumpy) trip from Peace Cycle, we reached the Haitian museum of history. We learned about the enslavement of the Haitians, their previous leaders, and about their founding fathers. We also got to see some Haitian artwork within the museum, and we enjoyed the air-conditioned facility, an oasis in the desert-like heat of Haiti. Finally, we reached the last stop of the day: La Lue, an orphanage filled with smiling faces. We had loads of fun playing with the kids, drawing with them, and overall enjoying their company. Some of our team members played hacky-sack with them which quickly progressed into a soccer game. While others were drawn on with face paint markers, some escaped that fate by sculpting pipe cleaners for the kids, effectively distracting them. But, the ones who were drawn on, like Isaac, Aurora, Tony, Regan, and Emily, ended up being "beautiful pieces of art." 
     Once we got back to the house, we relaxed and walked to the pool a block away. It was refreshing after the sweltering heat and caring for/carrying kids. We spent a fair amount of time there, and then came back for a delicious dinner of the following: meatballs, rice with beans, chicken, beet salad, some assorted vegetables, and plantain cookies. After a bit of time to relax and let our food settle, we all got together to talk about the word of the day and do our devotions. Finally, to end the night, we were taught how to Salsa dance. It was a wonderful time to goof off and to just be silly as a group. We all laughed a lot, and learned a new skill in the process. Overall, it was a very busy day, but it was very enjoyable.

-Rory (Aurora) & Ross

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Day 3

For day three, we went to Cite Soleil for water truck day. We started the day with delicious food and 
a devotional as a group. We set off to Cite Soleil, the poorest slum in the Western Hemisphere. 
Before we started giving water, we made a stop to the newly finished Hope Church/School. Despite the skepticism about the start of the project, the progress was amazing. We toured the church/school and shared in laughter as we waited for the water truck. The water truck finally arrived and we began to deliver the water. Before we got very far from the church, the children came running towards us just wanting to be held and loved. It was an eye opening experience for everyone involved. Even though there was a language barrier, communication was still present. Although the team doesn't know much Creole, we were still able to communicate and to get to know one another. We were able to ask the children for names, age, and how they are doing; and they are happy to interact with us. It was difficult for other people to experience these life changing events, but the team came to support one another. Some of our team are having a difficult time adjusting to the situation and the children, but God was present both with the Haitians and the members of the team. Overall, it was a great experience for all of us. We finished our day by swimming in the pool, playing soccer with the neighbors, and all of us sharing our "words" of the day. 

- Heather & Angelica

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Haiti Day 2

This was the second day of the trip.  Our travel day yesterday was long and somewhat tiring, yet we all woke up this morning refreshed and ready to go. We enjoyed "eggs in a hole," toast with egg in the center. After eating, we prepared for the day and left for Grace Village. Our tap-tap was not the one we were accustomed to. It was blue and had actual seats inside! The trip was about 45 minutes long to Grace Village. At the village, we met Kiki, an American from Tennessee who works at Grace Village. She gave us a tour, and explained to us all the cool things that Grace Village had to offer.
After this, we enjoyed a delicious snack (packed by the authors of this post themselves), and then we visited the bakery that was adjacent to Grace Village. The purpose of the bakery was to provide jobs for locals so that they could make a decent living. After this, we picked up a few meals and delivered them to the elders that Healing Haiti helps. We met Viergelie first, and we gave her food, washed her feet, and prayed for her. Next we visited Jude Jean Paul, a 22 year old man who was suffering from epilepsy. Finally, we met Marie, a 105 year old woman. This elder visit was perhaps the most moving. Marie took every word we said and everything we did as a blessing to her from God. We sang with her and prayed with her, then left for the mass grave for the earthquake victims. We arrived, and Brunet, our driver, told us of how he survived the earthquake and the terrible things he saw. This was very emotional and moving to us all. Never in our lives had we heard of such tragedy first-hand. We finished up, then went to the tap-tap, and headed home (the nice seats in the tap-tap allowed some of us to catch some sleep). When we got home, we got changed and went swimming. At the pool, we enjoyed water gun fights and coca-cola. We went home and ate dinner, which was delicious tacos. After dinner, we played soccer with some of the local boys, who are extremely experienced. We went back home, and enjoyed some free time. We did the word of the day, where everyone sits in a circle and we shared one word each that we thought described the day. After this, we went back to our free time. We are going to Cite-Soleil tomorrow on a few water truck stops. We are preparing our hearts for this, but in general, we are still very excited. We hope that you will continue to keep us in your prayers, and that we would, in all things, honor God by helping the Haitians.

-Isaac, Iain

Monday, March 7, 2016

Haiti Day One: The Arrival

At 8:00 this morning, we began our eleven hour journey to Port-au-Prince. We began with goodbyes,

prayer, and Ross' run-in with the TSA. Fortunately, after a brief backroom interrogation, we were on

our way to Atlanta where we had a two-hour layover, long enough to get lunch and get psyched up

for the final leg of our journey.

Upon arriving in Haiti, we paid the $10 admission fee into the country and quickly made our way

through customs, got our bags, and boarded the famous Tap-tap (an open air truck not for the faint of

heart). It was quite the experience to say the least! We saw cars passing left and right, dogs roaming

the street, and locals watching us as we passed by.

Upon arriving at the enormous purple doors leading to the guest house, we were greeted by several

guard dogs. The hospitality of the staff, along with the employees at Healing

Haiti, has made us feel more at home than we could have ever expected. Shortly after getting settled

in, we had a delicious dinner, had some free time, and settled in for the night.

Tomorrow, we will be going to Grace Village where we will be visiting four elders and bringing

them meals as well as seeing the mass grave site from the 2010 earthquake. Continue to pray for us

as we begin our time of serving the Haitian people.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Day 1: Travel Day

Busy Day!!

        We arrived after hours in the plane. For some people it was hectic, and for others it was relaxed.
        It was a long ride from Minneapolis to Haiti, or Chicago to Haiti ( Approximately 5 hours of flying time).
        We enjoyed getting to meet the dogs and seeing where we will be staying for the next 5 days. Also, we got to know the people on our team better and met the staff.
         The tacos were a highlight of our day. The dogs also helped us clean our plates. Also, Lois embarrassed her daughter, Lilliana, by having the entire (!!!!) restaurant sing happy birthday to her at lunch and having the team sing happy birthday again after discussion time. In the end it worked out because we got cake!!!!!!!
          Overall we had a great day and enjoyed seeing the beginning of our journey in Haiti.