Monday, January 17, 2011

Visual Journey

Here are some pictures of our trip

Tent City in Port-Au-Prince
Our 5 hour trip to Pignon included some of us riding on top of luggage in the back of the bus
Cameron approaching Wiggles

Terrie got to meet her sponsored child

Cindy organizing the pillowcase sun dresses at the Dorcas Women meeting

Keith and Cameron loading Cinder blocks in the back of the dump truck

Making re-bar towers

Pastor Caleb giving a lesson on cholera to the kids

Working along side our Haitian brothers

Our footings

Mother-Daughter team hauling cement!

The team walking down to the river to as part of a remembrance of the 2010 earthquake

The Glyndon Lutheran Crew at Caleb and Debbie's

An aerial shot of Hwy 3 from our plane

We made it back!

Wow, what an adventure!

We finished strong on Friday, leaving the work site with 15 of the re-bar towers in with cement!  We impressed our Haitian co-workers, according to Caleb.

Some of us left behind our work gloves, water bottles, and Keith and Cameron even gave their shoes to our Haitian workers.

When we got back to camp we start packing up our stuff so it could be driven down to Port-Au-Prince since our planes would not be able to hold our luggage and us!  A few more goats were picked up, and Caleb came by and spent some time with us.  

Saturday morning meant "Market Day!"  The road outside of the camp became a shopping mall of Haitian goods; beautiful table clothes, wood work, paintings, jewelry and other things.  Some of us got good deals, while others didn't do so well with the bartering.  :)

We flew to Port-Au-Prince in 3 shifts.  The first group was a 6 seater plane, the second group had two 4 seater planes, and the last group had a 6 seater plane.  It was simply beautiful to see the country from the air!  Our pilots were amazing, it was the best landing out of any of our flights!  

We had some time to kill at the Port-Au-Prince airport since our flight to Miami was delayed. We met some people that had been spending time in Haiti, church groups, electricians, and a group of Canadian Professional Football players.  It was neat to meet people, visit with them about their time and share what we did.

We made it to Miami, got our luggage, got to our hotels and crashed and showered.  Got back to the airport to travel home.

It is good to be home, but, at least for me, I left part of my heart in Haiti.  Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers while we were away, please continue to pray for the people of Haiti, they are praying for us.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Hi Ho(e) it's off to work we go...

Another day, hard at it!

We carried more cement, made more re-bar towers, and worked hard together.  We sang a lot, and at one point, the Haitian workers joined us in "Little Drummer Boy".  We worked so hard that at our lunch time at Caleb and Debbie's, at least 6 of our teammates had to take a snooze.

We played with the kids, singing "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes", "The Ittsy, Bitsy, Spider" and "The Chicken Dance."  The kids really liked it when I wiggled my bottom.

Nanci and Cameron got their wish, to see a tarantula.  It was big and hairy.  We have pictures!

We finished pouring the cement footings.  We got to work along side the Haitians, chat with them about their lives.  We even found a student that knew Spanish (most Haitians that go to school, know four languages, Creole, French, English, and Spanish), Cameron had a great conversation.

Some of us had the honor to see Ceiban's farm, a farmer that last year's team members got to meet and see his innovative farm.  Moses, his friend, and our interpreter was home from University to help in our journey.  It was a joy to see their progress, Haiti's own "Garden of Eden."  We even got to ride in the back of a pick-up truck, one of my favorite Haitian past-times.

Adam got to play a game of soccer with some of people at the camp, we got to see goats get picked up that were bought by people from home.  One goat even got tied up to the back of a motorcycle with 3 other passengers, quite the sight!

We had dinner with the Medical team once again, they are doing great work, having a great time, it was good to connect with them once again.  Dr. Guy (and his goose) hosted us.  More delicious Haitian food, yummmo.

One more day of work, then we start our journey home, we will be flying to Port-Au-Prince in 3 planes from the grass run-way of Pignon.  Getting to Miami Saturday evening.  We are all excited for our impending long, warm showers...we will wash the Haitian dirt from our bodies, but we will always have Haiti in our hearts.



Thursday, January 13, 2011

I am now a Haitian...

That is what our fearless driver, Gary said after driving many trips around town, with lots of road construction, driving through a river each way, and a lot of bumps and ruts in between.

We had a very busy day of construction, we built more re-bar towers and started laying the cement footings, which means hauling 5 gallon buckets of wet cement.  Yea, we are tough!

After yet another delicious lunch at Caleb and Debbie's, 4 of our group members had the chance to go to the hospital.  They got to put on scrubs and witness a few remarkable surgeries.    

By the end of the work day, we completed one 300 foot side of the building...not bad for a bunch of novices.  We have the callouses to prove that we did it!

When we returned to camp, we had a special service of remembrance at 5, the anniversary of last year's earthquake.  We prayed together 
Make us worthy, Lord God to serve our fellow human beings throughout the world who live and die in poverty and hunger.  Give them through our hands this day their daily bread, and by our understanding love, give peace and joy. We pray for Haiti, for our broken hearts and their broken lives.  All the tears and all the bodies are in your hands, O God.  Mend what has been torn apart, protect those in danger, assist those in position to help.  You, O Lord, are our refuge and strength.  Amen.
taken from Mother Theresa and the band Arcade Fire’s song Haiti

Walked down to the river as a group and lit floating candles.

For dinner, Caleb and Debbie hosted us and the medical team for a wonderful Haitian meal, with beans and rice, and goat (cooked two different ways) among other delicious dishes.  It was a great time to connect and laugh.  There may have even been some frolicking, jumping on trampolines, and laying on the roof looking at the stars (they are BRIGHT here).

I am sorry, I tried uploading some great pictures, but it didn't work...I will add pictures when we get home...just picture us, with great work glove tan lines, dirty faces and clothes, doing God's get the idea.


Marlane and Kris for Haiti 2011 Team

ps:  One of the two slaps from Adam and Cameron's slap bet, happened on the way to lunch...still wanting for one more.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pop, Lock, and Drop It

Yesterday we worked and worked! We finished 15 towers and with the towers we twisted 3360 ties! We have 43 left still :) Some people went to the hospital in Pignon...they watched 2 operations and got to tour the hospital. Dr. Cameron is actually smarter than he looks. Then after work and the hospital, we all went back to the camp and RELAXED! Nanci had a moving experience during devotion but I can't talk about that :) That was everything for the day and we are having a wonderful time and experience in Haiti! See you guys in 4 days!
~The coolest person EVER, Kally :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

First Day of Construction!

Monday, we began our work at College de la Grace. There were many jobs to be done, loading and unloading cement blocks, packing and distributing backpacks to the 1100 students, picking up litter, playing with kids.

One exciting aspect of loading and unloading cement blocks involved riding across Pignon in the back of a dump truck, and on the way back doing the same thing while sitting on top of a couple hundred cement blocks.

Once our team finished our work day, we went back to camp to relax, explore and further harass our local donkey "Wiggles."


Monday, January 10, 2011

We are here...

We made it... 3 Plane rides and a 5 hour bus ride later! Yay God!

Sunday we were able to worship at the Jerusalem Baptist church here in Pignon with pastor Caleb preaching. His wife, Debbie was able to interpret for some of us which was a blessing. Even with the language barrier we could hear and feel the passion throughout the church.

After church we had the opportunity to explore Pastor Caleb's new home. Beautiful does not begin to describe. Caleb lives next to the school where we are working. Got to explore the area and get our game plan together. A little. :)

Back at the camp was time to explore. Some of the displaced Haitains are living nearby and what a joy it was to watch the kids play soccer (with a tennis ball). Talent is all we can say about that. Their smiles and laughter was the the talk of the day! .....and speaking of exploring, we had a lot of team bonding and laughter at the expense of Cameron. He decided it might be a good idea to pet Wiggles (a donkey nearby). That did not go over his quest ended rather quickly when the donkey acted as though he might be gearing up to let Cameron have it. Don't worry, we have pictures. 

The afternoon/early evening was spent first with a couple amazing gifts. Marlane and George, as well as Terrie were able to meet their sponsor children. What an experience for all to be a part of. It just so happened that Marlane and George's sponsor child was the son of our bus driver. Debbie made the connection for Terrie to hook up with her sponsor child and her family. It was a touching experience for all.

The women of the group had the opportunity to meet with the Dorcas women in the area to donate the items we brought as well as listen to their amazing stories they shared about how they worship God and serve others. Our donations (blankets, sundresses, diapers and 2 sewing machines) will be put to good use as these women go in to their communities to find people in need. They visit the hospital daily in the afternoon to pray, feed those who are hungry, and fulfill any other need they can find a solution to. Serving the Lord is what they do...and they do it well. What an example they are to us. Mama (the 73 year old "leader" of the group, who, by the way has a very loud ring tone on her phone that plays the song "replay" of our favorites back it) shared a story about the earthquake and how it has affected everyone's lives in Haiti, not just those in Port-au-prince. Words cannot describe the experience of seeing the pain on her face and in her voice while sharing. We are thankful she was able to share her story in the midst of her sorrow for us. 

After a few tears and some great big hugs with the Dorcas women we all had to dry our eyes and put our big girl pants back on and head back to our humble abode for the week. We spent the evening laughing about the days events, playing cards, apples to apples, watching Adam and Cameron take on a speed game of solitaire (which to Cameron's surprise, Adam won. The bet you might ask?! Adam gets to slap cameron twice unannounced. Yes, we plan on getting photos of that as well).

Last but not least we gathered around and shared high's and low's, prayed, shared stories, and a devotion together. What a day!! Jam packed? I think so. Are we ready to do it again? Heck yes! Monday we are off to the school to pump some iron, or cement, I guess. I assume we will all find use for muscles we didn't know we had. If we all come back more tan, skinny, and buff, don't be surprised. HAHA :)

Jenna, for the 2011 Haiti team