S: HAITI 2012
BC: DEPARTED | HAITI | 1 AUG 2012
FC: HAITI MISSION TRIP 2012
1: HAITI Conscience International and Homes for Haiti | HAITI | ARRIVED 25 JUL 2012 | Haiti suffered heavy damage from the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit near Port-au-Prince on Tuesday, Jan.12, 2010. The earthquake has left much of the impoverished country in ruins. Over 100,000 died. The country was already poor before the quake...with a history of corrupt government and very little infrastructure. Even with history taken into account, there has always been a lot of back and forth among outsiders and among Haitians about why the country remains so troubled and poor. Sometimes people blame the Haitians' traditional African religious practices, also known as voodoo. (Though many Haitians are Catholic or Protestant, many also believe in the old gods. There is a saying about Haiti: 80% Catholic, 20% Protestant, 100% voodoo.) Sometimes they point to centuries of economic dependence, sometimes to the legacy of slavery. There's a bit of truth in each speculation. | Wish you were here... | Compassion International Rue B. Tonerre#3 Grand Goave, Haiti
2: Our adventure began with lots of prayers and fundraising. In the end, we stepped out on faith that God would provide the financing...and coordinate the schedules to make it happen. Special thanks to all the donors and prayer warriors who supported us along the way. | FB Post - June 14 - Just got our first round of vaccinations this morning. Those of you who gave helped fund almost $1000 in vaccines and meds to take with us. Things are coming together. Fundraising Carwash - June 27th - raised $250 FB Post - July 24th - We are packed and ready...pray for safety, strong backs, and healthy bodies as well as attitudes...with minimal distraction from heat, bugs, or general selfishness. God, give us complete servants' hearts and helpful hands. As soon as we started the trip, both Mick and I tried to journal almost every night...usually on Facebook. You'll see these excerpts from our posts or journals throughout this book. They may not be in order, but I hope they paint the picture for you of the amazing week that we had.
4: Headed to HAITI | From Mickey's journal - Day 1 started at 2am when the alarm went off. Gotta get to the airport by about 4am. We left the house about 2:40am...stopped at Whataburger...and then dropped the car at the parking lot and caught the shuttle to the airport. Not bad...we made it by about 4:15am. Smooth check-in and security...at the gate by about 5am. We left for Miami on time (6am) and had about 2.5 hours in Miami before our flight to Port au Prince, Haiti. While in Miami we discovered that Arti had a friend working our Port au Prince flight...Jules. She was working first class but made an effort to come find us. Vickie had switched seats with Milton (so that she could sit with Anna) and I saw Jules talking to him and saying something to the effect of "You're not Vickie...are you". She gave Vickie a large bottle of water before we landed and we would soon find out why. As we landed, the crew announced for us to close all the window shades and open all the A/C vents because it was over 100 degrees on the tarmac; it would help keep the plane cool for the next passengers. Welcome to Haiti. | It was HOT. We filled out our immigration forms, got through immigration and started looking for our bags. They apparently only have 1 luggage conveyor and after a while (but before we got through immigration) they started taking the luggage off the conveyor for the next flight. We found our luggage (for all 18 of us) and started trying to make our way out of the "warehouse". There are different people that are trying to "help" you with your luggage..."official" and "unofficial". The "unofficial" helpers are working for tips. Tiga had warned us to be careful and firm about who we let take our luggage. So far so good... | Then all the guy did was grab my luggage claim tickets and handed them to the "official" guys so they could verify we had the correct luggage. Then he asked for a "tip". Oooops...I don't have any cash. Sorry dude. OK...now I've offended my first Haitian. Anyway, we start our "green shirt" parade out of the warehouse. Oh, by the way, all 18 of us are wearing bright green matching shirts. :)
6: As soon as we got off the plane, we boarded a bus to drive us approximately 30 miles away to our "camp". Just at the edge of the airport, the destruction began to be obvious...and then got worse...and worse... The 30 miles took over two hours due to damaged roads and traffic in the streets...some trucks, lots of motorcycles (more practical on these precarious roads full of rubble) and bikes, and people, and tons of stray dogs, goats, and a few pigs and chickens.
9: Wow! Please forgive my long-windedness in advance. I couldn't have prepared for what we have found here. The situation is even more dire than I would have imagined. Haitians have set up impromptu tent cities throughout the capital. Many buildings still remain unsafe to enter due to risk of collapse. There are now millions of people left in ruin with no leadership...at first glance, it seems hopeless...we sat on the bus trying to absorb what we were seeing out the windows. Where would you even start? I am guessing only one in every 60 or 70 buildings is left standing to the point of usability...the others are rubble...and because there is very little heavy equipment to clean them up, they are now just taking up real estate. We saw "We need help" painted on crumbled walls and fences... Families are living under 10x12 tarps tied to trees or ruined structures...hundreds of thousands of them...they went on for miles. Oppressive heat much of the day year round with no AC anywhere...(most "business" is conducted in the evenings when it gets cooler...then the city comes to life at night) And the most beautiful sound so far...the voice of a 6 year old boy as we got off our bus, saying, "Thank you" and giggling (laughing, I believe because he had mastered the English words perfectly) THIS is why we are here! Thank you God for the blessings these people will send us home with... | Jul 25th
10: There is sewage running down the sides of the streets... Garbage everywhere (there is nowhere to put it)...
11: Some tried to make a living in this new ruin by selling us bottled water...or their very sweet version of a Sprite. Some peddled second hand clothes, shoes, or random toiletries.
12: ...an impromptu frizbee game in the street with some of the Haitians | Then we started to notice the HOPE.... Romans 8:31 painted on a broken piece of wall... | A child peaking out and then running to "check us out"... Several "high fives" from other kids...
13: The children warmed to us immediately. On water breaks, we sit in the shade and play "hot hands" or clap games with them...they now also know how to high five and fist bump. They run up to us on the streets as we walk to and from work...with outstretched fists or palms...and big smiles...
14: It's probably on about an acre of land (maybe slightly less) and comprised of a number of outbuildings. The best way to describe the place is a "camp" like you might find on the bayous of Louisiana. The women are in one building (well, actually two different buildings...Vickie, Leah and Anna ended up in a separate building because they were 3 beds short in the women's building) and the men in a separate building. The buildings are little more than a screened shelter that you might find at a state park. They have electricity but no A/C. The men's shower is pretty close to an "outdoor" shower. The showers are covered but the dressing area is not. The water is not heated...but that will not be a problem in this heat. The "cold" showers will be a welcomed treat. | Base Camp | Surprisingly, they also have wireless internet. By our standards, it's like "camping" but by Haitian standards it's probably more like living like a king.
16: They have 3 flushing toilets (as opposed to an outhouse type toilet like most of the rest of the Haitians in this area have.) They have a covered area where we eat our meals and have filtered water for drinking (carbon filters). | The WONDERFUL cold showers, and the fact that God was laughing at many of us because the lack of hot water is what we were most worried about...and even prayed for tolerance about...silly boys and girls...you won't need a hot shower in Haiti...
17: Mickey just said when he gets home, first thing he's going to do is get a really cold glass of ice water, pour it into a ziplock bag, seal it up, then bite the corner off and suck it out...:) My Haiti peeps will get it...stay warm tonight... | The second day, we found a miracle... these lifesaving cold water pouches... made from a reverse osmosis plant right here on the island. One of the few clean cold water sources we had access to...$10 would buy a bag of 30-40. We took turns buying them for the group...partially frozen...so refreshing. | And perhaps the best quote of the trip, by Josh after an especially exhausting hot day, "Surely there is somewhere cold where people need our help..." :-) | The first day we brought our own water from camp, but as it warmed in the sun, we were dropping like flies.
18: Many times, we watched as a group of kids filled 5 gallon buckets from one of the few clean water sources around...then carried them back home...some while carrying a basket of fruit or rice on their heads at the same time...incredible... | So grateful for our clean water faucet back at camp
19: WATERSuch a life giving resource. It was nearly impossible not to compare the need for drinking water here with their need for Jesus. I was reminded often of that verse in John - Anyone who is thirsty may come to me and I will give you living water... | A shallow stream here is where they bathe and do laundry...
20: The young girl to the left above is pumping an old fashioned water well. It is a daily chore for all of the Haitian people to walk up to 3 miles away to get washing and drinking water and then carry it back to their families for the day. You see them gathering around with their buckets in the photo to the right.
21: We will never forget this "walk to work" each day. We stepped over open sewage streams...sickly animals...and through the "market"...where they peddled anything from fresh vegetables to clothing to toiletries. This was not a "tourist market" like you may see on a cruise island. This is how they live. They trade and barter and sell what they can. We bought some bandannas to prevent breathing too much of the rubble dust. And we stopped one day to buy some freshly harvested sugar cane and show the kids how to chew on it. Everywhere we turned, we got lots of stares, but lots of smiles too...and usually a little gang of curious Haitian kids following us. Chrystilla even made it all the way back to our camp one day to ask us for more pistachios.
22: From Mickey's journal - After we unloaded our stuff and settled in, Tiga takes us for a "walk-about". He paraded us around part of the town, down to the ocean and then back a different route back to camp. Again, the devastation we saw was humbling. We realized after he took us a different way to work everyday, that part of the reason he took us on this walk was to let the people see we were with him so they would know why we were here and that we "belonged with him". They all know what this organization does and would associate us with "help". One thing we noticed even as early as getting off the bus was that the children of Haiti seem to be genuinely "glad" to see us. Several of them said "thanks or thank you" as we got off the bus...which is probably the only English they know. The kids would also come out as we were walking and give us a "high five" or wave and smile. | TIGA our guide/leader/friend
23: As our group of what must have seemed like "crazy Americans" made our way down the street during the hottest part of the day in our matching lime green shirts, we met various reactions... Some just sat under their tarp and seemed to look thru us...seeming hopeless... Some waved and smiled... A few had seen our kind before and tried to kid with us...even using our slang "whassup"? (They speak French, usually)...
25: Somehow, in all of the destruction, you could see God's beauty peaking back through...the greenery all over the ruins. The mountains in the backdrop...nature makes it clear He is here..."even the rocks will cry out"
26: These same breed dogs are all over the cities...various levels of starvation and care. There are also chickens and pigeons roaming the compound as well as a number of dove in a cage. | "Stupid rooster!" This guy in the middle was not our friend. He crowed incessantly every night...his clock was clearly broken. There were plans made to cook him for dinner several times. Our only relief is that by the end of the week, we were either so exhausted or just acclimated to his noise...we slept anyway. | We noticed a "string" of crabs sitting next to the sidewalk. We thought they were dead but one of the Haitian women let one loose and it took off. They have them "wrapped" up using straw until they are ready to use.
27: And now, after a hot bath I am laying in my bed for the first time in 8 days, and I just heard a rooster crow from Leah's room, and then another from Josh's...hope it crowed at the Eichler, Tacker, Anderson, Sloan, and Hardy houses too... | Aug 2 | About 5:45 in the morning, I am laying in my little Haiti bunk...thankful for the slight breeze blowing through the open door of our room...and grateful that some of us are actually acclimating to this oppressive heat enough to cover with a sheet at night if the fans are on... Then I hear some sort of tiny tapping on the floor...I can see in the shadows of dawn, something crawling across my open doorway...about the size of my fist...with a lot of legs... Does Haiti have tarantulas? There are several things running through my mind. All I can think is that I have to squish this before Leah wakes up, or she is on the next plane out of here. As I shined the flashlight on it, it ran under Leah's bed, and I see that it isn't a spider at all, but this little visitor above. Guess one got away. ADVENTURES in Haiti...:) This momma kitty had her new kittens stashed under the stairs at our camp. Anna was thrilled and insisted I try to get a picture. :) | There are animals wandering everywhere. It was not uncommon for a pig or a goat to wander through the work site... or kids riding donkeys.
28: There is a covered area where a couple of Haitian women prepare the meals for the camp. Our first Haitian dinner - fried or grilled chicken (not sure which...but it wasn't battered) and rice (kinda like a jambalaya) and a potato/beet salad. It was delicious. First breakfast was scrambled eggs and bread. And a very interesting juice made from a fruit that is native here. They use a unique spice here in pretty much everything and it tastes really good. They also use La hotsauce...:) Good taste. | Some of our other favorite dishes - Rice, bean "soup" which is basically akin to pureed beans, and a beef stew dish. Pasta salad, Spaghetti for breakfast, a very unique cole slaw Chicken "stew" type dish with a bean/grits dish Hot dogs (just the weiners), fried plantains, and fried sweet potatoes | Tuna sloppy Joes for breakfast...and the facial expressions...:) Oatmeal for dinner... Not our favorites...but no one complained:
29: Since we only worked half a day on Saturday, we helped the ladies cook dinner for that night. We enjoyed working beside them. The tools were primitive, but they made it work...a knife blade without a handle and a couple of bowls. We were comforted to know that they add chlorox to the dish water to help prevent the spread of cholera. | Anna is practicing carrying her towel on her head like the Haitians. And I am thoroughly enjoying my frosty Coke with lunch...quite a treat.
30: A trombone player welcoming the sunset with some music down by the beach...
32: From Mickey's journal - We started by breaking up the rubble into baseball/softball sizes. After a very short time swinging a large sledge hammer in the Haitian heat, I got very dizzy and nauseous. In hindsight, I probably shouldn't have started out my first work day in the heat swinging a sledge hammer (when the most work I'm accustomed to is a few taps on the keyboard or the walk to my air conditioned office).
34: Most of our perfectionist guys were a little frustrated by the inefficiencies of the Haitian builders. They are strong, hard workers, but they don't have any concept of planning for tomorrow or management skills/teamwork. They tore down and rebuilt these forms for each home...even though they are the same size for every house. But our team did a great job of graciously accepting our assignments and following orders. We looked for simple ways to show them efficiencies and modeled perfect teamwork in our bucket lines. But more importantly, we always spoke with kindness to each other...even in the heat, dizziness, nausea and exhaustion...trying to show them Jesus, love, and grace.
35: The foundation is built about 14.5'x20.5'
36: creating frames to support the "baskets" that hold the "rubble"
37: These forms will come down once the concrete is added.
38: RUBBLE | Let's start filling buckets
39: Are these about the right size?
40: We estimated it takes about 1600 buckets per house. By the end of the week, we filled three houses...that's almost 5000 buckets. | Leah was easily our best bucket catcher. All those years of colorguard paying off ;) | Buckets | Lift | Catch | Toss | Fill
41: And more buckets...hundreds of buckets...some heavier than others... As we got tired late in the day, we would only fill them half full...but kept going until we finished the walls. We got the biggest laugh when one of the little Haitian girls (Crystilla - 10 years old), brought Trent a bucket of rocks on her head, and he had to tell her it was too heavy..."don't fill them as full"...wow...she's 10...and it was on her head...we're wimps...but we're giving it our best... | Throw | Dump | Repeat
42: We started trying to wear masks when the dust got overwhelming, but it was so hot that we couldn't really tolerate that very long either...you felt like you were smothering. We decided to just take turns in the dusty jobs and get relief further down the bucket line when we needed too.
43: "Leah, You want me to catch for awhile?" "No, I got this..." But she paid for it by the end of the week with a wicked sinus and ear infection from taking the brunt of the rubble dust flying right in her face. | The masks, by the way were actually leftover from donations to the Tri-County fire relief in Magnolia. They came in handy again...and we left a few there at the camp for the next group.
46: By the end of the first work day, we had finished more than half of the walls on this first house. Exhausted, but excited to come back tomorrow and finish it...
47: Trent Tacker's adventure inside the cage...he dropped a bucket down into the bottom, and instead of sending a skinny kid down there, he decides to go get it himself...I think it's because he was scared of Paul...the "foreman" (red t-shirt on the left)
48: OK...every single saying/quote above is a BIG, FAT, LIE! :) That first day nearly killed some of us... | Hard work is good for you!
49: Some puked, got dizzy, poured water on their heads, took short breaks in the shade while we played with the locals, and literally prayed for strength...which God granted...we kept going with smiles on our faces. | What doesn't kill you makes you | stronger!
50: From Mick's journal - When we finished we gathered inside the house for a group photo...with the Haitian children. One little boy pulled me next to him for a picture and then afterwards hugged me...sweat and all. It reminded me why we're here. | Day #2 - House #1 = WALLS COMPLETE
51: Diddy (rt) and Paul (below) ...our foremen for the first two days... | And Jensen (pronounced Shinson)...who thought he was the foreman. He sat on this wall and pointed and yelled orders...in French, so we had no idea what he was saying, but he thought we were obeying...
52: Day 2 - more great adventures...I think the pictures spoke for themselves yesterday. We completely finished the four rock walls today before lunch. This is a kick butt group...not one whiner in the bunch...in fact, as the nurse, I've had to prescribe time off twice when they worked themselves to throwing up exhaustion...(don't worry moms...all is well...we have plenty of water and electrolytes when they need it.) The kids are especially impressive. We have 6 with us under 18, and I think they were filling buckets faster than the Haitian shovelers today...not one complaint about the heat, the odd food, or the work. Amazing kids... Because we rocked it this morning, the house is already ready for masonry, so we stayed at camp this afternoon and made forms and cages for a second house. Some of the things we don't want to forget about today... that amazing jambalaya we just ate, and the ladies who cooked it. Anna and Jenna trying to booby trap the roof so that nuts would fall on our heads... The kids in the bucket line with us... Joseph...a Haitian teenager who is trying to learn English...he sits at our job site and listens, and sings hymns to us...beautiful boy... The rain last night that cooled us a bit...and definitely settled our work dust... James 2:14-26 The joy of these kids...the slightest things impress them... One group was completely amazed by Joni's braces... Sharing my mask with a little boy in the line... Keep praying! God is certainly here, hearing, and honoring... | Jul 27 | The kids loved playing on the roof. Jim and Will even slept up there one night ...where the breeze was blowing, and you could hear the "sounds of the town" | The crazy fan configuration after Milt and Tiga somehow found two more fans to buy for the mens cabin.
54: Next step... MORTAR
55: They do everything by hand. Mix the mortar by hand and sling it on the wall by hand.
56: A "rubble house" built last month with a beaming young lady in the doorway...waving
57: This guy is an artist...and a great mason. | The mortaring process is quite a skill...it is better left to the artistic Haitians, so while they worked on that step on the first house we built, we filled the walls on a third house right next door. Three families will be blessed in Haiti by our presence here...at least six families in the US will be forever changed because of our presence here...
58: Without labor nothing prospers. -SOPHOCLES
59: Building "Cages" - the baskets that actually hold the rock in the walls
61: From Mick's Sat journal - Today's work was building more "rubble baskets" so we didn't leave the compound. So, we didn't get to interact with the locals...other than the Haitian crew in charge of building the baskets. We were in the shade most of the morning, but it was still hot and humid. After we built enough baskets for nearly 3 houses, we spent another hour or two de-nailing boards. Leah's hammer broke. Only a half day of work on Saturday...woohooo.
63: Wire cutters and the "Baileys" - named after the guy who helped them make the first ones. These are the main tools for building the cages. The Bailey is simply a piece of heavy rebar welded to a small length of pipe....the pipe slips perfectly over the wire to bend it easily in both directions.
64: Grand Goave 2012 | Our reward for a hard day's work | I think everyone felt the relief that Anna is expressing in the cool water
67: While we swam, there were women doing laundry in the ocean and the spring, and there was laundry "drying" everywhere.
68: 8.27.12 | REFRESH
69: Tiga (our leader) rewarded us by taking us down to one of their natural springs. It was SOOooo refreshing...cold water and lots of little Haitians to splash with... | Trent's new flip-flops... I guess he got tired of borrowing my pink ones. :)
71: The Spring
72: It didn't take long for the children to start playing with us...first splash wars and then a game that most people call Marco Polo but Trent taught it to them as "Hey Ha"...and they caught on fast... we quickly had a large circle wanting to join in...
74: We started our second house today...built "baskets" or cages for three on Saturday. This job site is a bit more pleasant physically...a cool breeze every now and then...a great family and hard working crew to work with...the homeowner (or soon to be) brought us chairs out and set them in the nearby shade for water breaks, and his little girls, and neighbor girls immediately set to braiding our girls hair...even tried to do Josh's...but he had to get back to work...:) We finished half the walls this morning, taking a quick lunch break, and headed back to finish them this afternoon. Tiga says he has never had a group finish four walls in one day. We want to be that group... | BACK TO WORK | HOUSE #2 | By now we needed very little direction...we're pro's at this :) And working as a great team.
75: House #2 | This was Anna's little friend. While she was resting during a water break, she felt something tugging on her hand. When she looked down, she realized this precious baby was sucking out of her water bag. She gave him the whole bag. :)
76: While we worked on the house, several of the Haitian girls began braiding Joni's hair into corn rows...and then Jenna's...and then Anna's...then they tried to do Josh's :)
77: They were speaking French, but best we could tell, they were saying... "Here... hold the baby... we have to do something with this hair" :)
80: Josh worked right out of his shoes...sole fell right off... | These are some hardworking people...
82: From Mickey's journal this time: After breakfast, we walked over to Tiga's church to worship with the Haitians. While the worship was in Creole, and we couldn't understand the words, we could still understand what was being said. While we were singing, a little boy sitting in front of me handed me a Creole hymnal and pointed to the song that we were singing so I could follow along. It was a very touching gesture. He pointed out a couple of other songs before the service was over. When the preaching started, the pastor preached in Creole and Tiga translated so we could get the gist of what was being preached. | After dinner one night we walked over to an evening "worship" service going on out under the open sky. We were able to pick up a few words...or at least some of them were...but, for the most part we couldn't understand the words but it was very "moving" none the less. Haitians are very passionate in many of the things they do...worship is no different.
85: After the service was over, coordinator of CBF (Cooperative Baptist Fellowship) gave us a tour of the school and church. The church owns/runs the school. During the earthquake, the school and church were destroyed. CBF helped the church rebuild the school first. The church requested that the school be rebuilt first because they felt that having a school to educate their children was more important than worshiping God in more comfort. They realize that education is the best thing to pull them out of this state of poverty. Currently, the church worships under a tin roof on the property that the church and school are located on. The school is now finished and they have started on the church. | Isn't Trent a good dad? Helping Jenna paint her toes...:)
86: Our "work" truck - taking us to the beach
88: When we had to go further than a few miles, half of us rode in the blue work truck and the rest of us rode in a "tap-tap"...which is a truck with a home-made cover over the bed and a wood bench seat running the length of the truck... basically their taxis.
89: "Tap-Tap" | a pretty rough ride, but we were grateful for it, after miles of walking
90: Sunday Our "Day of Rest"
96: Chillin' in the Shade and enjoying the rare breeze
99: We ordered lobsters and conch and while we swam we watched a guy row a canoe made from a hollowed out log, out to the lobster traps and retrieve the lobsters.
102: H | House #3 | Right next door to the first house we built, so we got to watch the mortar being finished up as we built the walls of this one.
103: We are becoming quite the experts now...realizing if we fill the buckets only about half full, we can actually throw them to each other and move the rock twice as far, twice as fast...we cleaned up every piece of spare rubble in this area, and then brought some in from other areas to finish these walls...
105: This sweet man, despite his arthritic hands, worked circles around us...he never stopped and was always smiling...a genuine joy to serve knowing his family will be blessed in this home for years to come...
106: While we were loading rubble by hand, Jesse was working hard filling buckets and noticed a little Haitian girl making fun of him by breathing heavily (exaggerated) and smashing rocks. It was quite humorous...and we had her repeating it several times for our amusement.
108: "Je m'appelle, Anna..."
109: Tiga tells us we are the first group to bring kids this young with us. We honestly believe it opened doors for us that might otherwise not have existed. We were so incredibly proud of our kids. Without any prompting, they would lovingly engage with the locals...high fives... hugs... sharing names and songs...singing "Jesu" loves me...teaching each other French/English words. The Haitians loved having their pictures taken, and were really intrigued by Anna's blond hair and Joni's braces. They shared snacks and water with them and our kids talked in the evenings about how happy the Haiti kids seemed even without toys and electronics galore. Looks like we are really blessing each other. :) God is at work.
110: New Friends
111: "Home of the free... Because of the Brave" ~Author Unknown | two of their "besties" here... Donna and Chrystilla
112: SPRITE SOCCER
113: Playing soccer with an empty plastic soda bottle...the little boys loved it, but we ALL loved it when Grandma joined in and played longer than the boys did...
114: Translation: This project occurs in cooperation with the following communities of Governing
115: Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it. -Proverbs 22:6 | We enjoyed Tiga's stories about the earthquake, the recovery efforts, and his life growing up here. He showed us the rebuilt school house and told us stories about a usual day in Haiti.
118: Bucket showers when the pump at camp broke, and the fact that no one complained...we just made it work...this is a great group of people with priorities in order...
120: a farewell to a loved one who died...these were painted all over the buildings and walls left standing | "life can smile, if we wash our hands before everything after all" | it's a good thing most buildings are made of rubble and not a more flammable material. The electrical work everywhere is sketchy at best
121: the house next door to our camp...slowly attempting to rebuild
124: Maywald Family (Mickey, Vickie, Leah, Josh, & Anna) | Jacob & Lauri Sloan | Eichler Family (Mason, Morgan, Michelle, Milt & Milton) | Trent & Jenna Tacker | Jim & Will Anderson | Jesse & Joni Hardy | the team
125: Tiga with the kids...
126: OUR LAST DAY IN HAITI | July 31, 2012
127: Three families will be BLESSED in Haiti by our presence here...at least six families in the US will be FOREVER CHANGED because of our presence here...
133: Leah with Mustasia... picking little berries from the top of the tree...they tasted like pomegranate... We were surprised to see the reaction of the group of local teenagers as Leah lifted this little girl onto her shoulders. It was as if they'd never seen anyone do that before...they pointed and smiled as she reached up to pick berries from her new height. Another example of their odd lack of natural cooperation/teamwork. And another example of something else we take for granted.
136: grand goave | HAITI
137: It was so touching to see their reaction to the photos we printed for them...of their kids with us...these may be some of the only photos of their kids that they will ever own...so many things we take for granted.
139: This sweet grandma went in to comb her hair so that I could take her photo...then she made us get in the photo with her...she was so intrigued by my gray hair...many of them were. She said it was "bel" - beautiful. Someone even told one of the other gray haired gentlemen in our group (Jim) "kout chapo", which means, "congratulations". Diddy explained that not many live to have gray hair here...in a country wrought with disease, poor nutrition, and very little healthcare...so it is rare and considered honorable if you "make it to gray"
140: One evening we played a lively game of "Celebrity" Another night, some of us played "spoons" with clothes pins because we didn't have spoons to use. | From Mick's journal - I learned the international symbol for fat or big belly today...lol. As I was sitting under a tree drinking water and resting one young girl patted me on the belly and then put her arms out in a circle in front of her (like she was trying to wrap them around someone's belly) and I replied "yep...I'm fat" to which she just giggled | Leah's drawing | Jacob celebrated his b-day while we were there... | Downtime at the Camp
141: Last night here... We are all sitting around together listing the things we don't want to forget... The smells and the walk, and the barefoot children... Tiga...he is a great guide and great man... The daily power outages... How hard that arthritic gentleman was working on his own house...with us...what an honor... The Grandma who ran over for a sweettart when we were handing them out to the kids. How overwhelmed we felt the second day, and how fulfilled we feel now. The little blue eyed baby in church... The beautiful smiles and the belly laughter... The fact that our kids not only contributed greatly, but opened doors for us with the locals that would otherwise not have existed. The little girls who ran all the way from the job site to our camp to ask for pistachios. The love of Christ that overcomes any differences...cultural, racial, economic, educational...we were all brothers and sisters here. We've all been changed for the better...forever...thank you, Jesus!
142: Another thing we noticed was how they drive. They pass each other often, to the point of nearly hitting oncoming traffic (and we even had what I would call a "close call" at least once), and closely (sometimes only inches between vehicles). Tiga actually posted this head-on collision pic the week after we left. Glad he was ok.
144: Farewell Haiti.. until next time....
145: Mick donated his "Panama Jack" hat to one of the guys that works here (Forshe') and then even left his shoes here for someone that needs them. He wore his flip flops home. We're also leaving towels, sheets and gloves that we brought to help future groups.
146: Friends and family...THANK YOU for the prayers this week...we have certainly felt them. We are blessed to report that no one got sick (thank you God for good antibiotics), only a few minor cuts and scrapes and a few minor buckets to heads...there was ample opportunity for injuries and illness, and God protected us. We travel all day tomorrow, and look forward to coming home to you... From FB July 31 at 8:26pm | The word of the day as we sit in the terminal in Miami...Grateful! I think my whole family will be more grateful for the little things...clean water, soap, organized leaders, bacon, and Frosty's...:). Glad to be home, but will honestly miss our new Haitian brothers and sisters...praying for them...and hoping we never forget this incredible experience...God is good... | Praying for our new friends in Haiti as Isaac wets them down...thankful at least three more families have safe roofs over their heads... | From FB Aug 24 | From FB Aug 2
147: I have the best mom in the world. Thanks Bonnie Methvin for the frig full of milk and juice and donuts and sandwich stuff when we got home...I don't even have to go to the store tomorrow to restock...looking forward to that day of rest. Thanks, mom! | Continue to pray for us this week as we try to attack our daily lives with the same selfless commitment with which we attacked that rubble...with a fresh new perspective... | From FB Aug 2 | From FB Aug 5