So I’m finally getting through all the pictures. My mouse finger has gone on strike from all the resizing for the web. I didn’t do much in the way of editing on most of these…just simply too many to go through. But this is a window into our week in Haiti. If I can come up with the time later tonight, I’ll try to come back and edit this post to include a little more of the written highlights of the trip.
*EDITED TO ADD TRIP HIGHLIGHTS BELOW PHOTOS*
Okay. It’s not last night, but I’m back. Our internet was fritzy last night. I finally gave up and went to bed. But anyway…highlights of the trip.
I’m not really sure where to start because there’s so much you could say about it. I don’t think the pictures really give you a good feel for how life really is there—not like actually BEING there. There are so many needs and no way to actually fill them all, that it almost just feels hopeless. And then you realize that the Hope isn’t in “fixing” things, it’s in Jesus. And while voodoo is huge there, Christianity does have a presence also, which is awesome.
We visited two orphanages while we were there and did two “Vacation Bible School’s” with each (although VBS there is completely different from ours in the US). They did the story of Noah at one orphanage and then let the kids have paper and crayons to draw/color about the story, and Daniel (complete with a puppet show) and drawing time afterward at the other orphanage. At the second orphanage, there was more space and we were able to also get out and play with the kids (jumprope, frisbee, soccer, and blowing bubbles). The kids were precious.
We did lots of painting at the school in Barbancourt. It was just concrete walls and windows and so hot and dungeon-like inside. As much as I was tired of yellow paint by the time we finished, it was still amazing at how much it brightened the place up and made it so much cheerier. I say we finished, but we didn’t get ALL the rooms painted. We tried to get all the rooms painted but we were
saved stopped by a bad batch of paint (wrong color and unusable) on the last day, so we had to leave some for the next team. We painted for three days, so even though we didn’t get finished, we did get a lot done. There were no ladders, so we were climbing on barrels and buckets and desks to reach the ceiling to trim the corners and edges. The first day, I was a little overzealous and was jumping up and down off the waist-high barrels with no thought for the morrow. The morrow came with extreme soreness and moaning.
Then came the day we climbed the mountain and I REALLY regretted that first day. When I say mountain, I’m not talking a hill. It was at least two miles up at 90% grade and no steps or handrails. Chimney Rock times 10. The scenery was gorgeous but I didn’t enjoy it at ALL until we reached the top. Matter of fact, I don’t even remember seeing anything but rocks for the entire first half of the trip…all I could think about was how bad my legs were burning, I could feel my measly granola bar returning up my esophagus at approximately the same rate as the sweat was rolling down my face, and the fact that I couldn’t even see the top of the mountain, and how was I EVER gonna take another step???
No, I don’t know where Munchkin gets her tendency for drama. LOL.
But it’s not much of an exaggeration though. I really was afraid for a while there that I was going to be sick and have to turn around and give up. But we all made it. And coming down was so much easier…which is NOT to say that I wasn’t able to fully appreciate the sight of the main road to the mission and that cold shower that I knew was awaiting…
ANYWHO. So we worked and sweated quite a bit all week. And by the way, those are two separate things. They are not necessarily connected in Haiti. You sweat whether you’re working or not. LOL. It’s just if you’re working, you sweat MORE. Like a faucet that never turns off. That was not my favorite thing, that constant sticky feeling that never went away.
I’d have to say my favorite thing of the week was that little girl in the giant yellow t-shirt from the second orphanage we visited, that had the smile that could light up an entire village. She was precious! I had a hard time taking pictures when my hands were always being held by one child or another…or five.
It was an amazing trip, but I was VERY ready to see the United States again. I was singing God Bless America, land that I LOVE, when we started descending into New Jersey. Just the huge difference of flying into Port Au Prince versus flying into the US. No way to describe it. Imagine the worst neighborhood ever, one that is completely un-inhabitable (to US standards) and then enlarge it by…oh…I don’t know….a million percent? And then imagine landing a plane in it.
I have a renewed appreciation for our country, to say the least.
I know I’m forgetting a lot of great things about our trip…the evenings after working all day and hanging out with the team and playing Pit and Spoons and Dutch Blitz and Uno and Scattergories, devotions up at the cross, praying/visiting sick ones up on the mountain, playing basketball with the village kids…it just goes on…but I’ve rambled long enough. Thanks for reading. Pray for our brothers and sisters in Haiti…they can sure use our prayers.