Bon Swa from beautiful northern Haiti!
Wow. What a day! It rained most of the night, but sunshine broke through this morning. By noon it was hot and steamy, and most of the mud dried up rock hard. Haiti is definitely a land of contrast. Today was a full day of work projects, including a play day with the village kids on the big field in front of the church. More on that in a minute.
First a little news about our daily life here. You may not be surprised to hear that we have broken our large team up into 5 meal work groups. Each group rotates through the tasks of “Prep”: preparing the pavilion for the meal including sanitizing dishes, silverware and cups, getting the food from the kitchen, and helping serve the rest of the group as needed, “Clean”: busing all of the dishes and serving utensils back to the kitchen, and “Wash”: washing and drying everything used in the meal. Breakfast starts at 8:00 AM with a short devotion and today consisted of fresh pineapple slices, bananas, a sweet Haitian version of hot oatmeal, toast, mamba (spicy peanut butter), and grapefruit jelly made here at Jacob’s Well. Typically we have hot chocolate, strong coffee, and a fresh squeezed juice (today a mixture of mango and passion fruit) to drink. Lunch follows around 12:30 PM or so and is usually light. Today we had ham baguette. A white custard or flan-like desert was also served. Dinner is at 7:00 PM or so, and tonight we are eating rice, a potato carrot casserole, beef in a mushroom sauce, and a nice cake for desert! Just in case you are wondering, yes it is all beyond tasty.
This morning for work projects, Brittany, Jan and Caleb worked on the new pitball pit, including painting all 6 faces/edges of all 6 panels and fastening on 12 hinges to hold it together. Elizabeth R, Liz Valcin, Jamie, Allie, and Maris helped me (Hans) install solar lights at the big cross on top of the big hill. That involved holding a ladder finding lost screws and nuts dropped during the construction process (also by me), and digging post holes to hold the light stations. The fence crew was dispatched to a section of terrain so steep that each fence post 8 feet apart and 8 feet tall did not reach up to the base of the next post in the line up the hill! Jordan led this crew with Gillian’s oversight. Our intrepid fence digging crew included Jarvis, Isaac, Thomas, Amy, Edie, Maggie, Alyse, Katie, and Virginia. At the pavilion Autumn, Hardin, and Abby cleaned and mopped the pavilion floor. Fharid, Faith, and Caleb helped clean chairs, and then Caleb and Fharid continued building the PVC water supply manifold for the well house while Faith painted a sign for the new puppet stage. Konrad and Noah welded most of the day, including building the locking door for the water jug rack, building a security cage for the cross lights, and manufacturing more solar security light poles. Deborah lent a hand in several areas, and has been acting as the team videographer.
In the afternoon, Fharid, Thomas, Abby, and Isaac went to the well house with me to install the new manifold and replace the very temporary plumbing giving us the capability to shower. The post setting crew started with Jordan, Jarvis, Alyse, Amy, Maggie, Maris, Virginia, Allie, Jamie, Liz, and Elizabeth R. Brittany, Caleb and Jan finished the pitball pit. Edie and Katie went to help bend rebar for Konrad and Noah. Autumn, Hardin, and Faith washed dishes for the team. At 3:30 most of the group transitioned to put on a play time for the village kids. The Puppet stage was transported (with some difficulty) to the church where choir practice was in session. The Haitian leaders came out, practiced the script, and then put the puppet show on with the help of Hardin, Faith, Alyse, Allie, Liz and Deborah. The Gospel was clearly presented to a small crowd of kids, many too young to come to camp! Pray that this endeavor bears some fruit. Games included the parachute, duck duck goose, ring around the rosie, and hand games. Gillian and Maris went with Boss T’Charley to mark out locations for the solar security lights, and then the post holes were dug by the remaining fence crew of Jordan, Jarvis, Jamie, Maris, Brittany, Amy, Caleb, Maggie, and Virginia. They were assisted by a host of enthusiastic Haitian boys! Edie and Autumn made snack deliveries to all workers to the delight of everyone. All in all, it has been a very productive day, and we are all going to sleep well tonight. Tomorrow offers a chance for some team bonding and down time, including a chance to climb double head mountain and trip to a nearby beach. Pray for the team, for our health and safety, and for the few remaining loose ends that we would like to accomplish in our last full day here in Haiti. We can’t believe that the time has flown by this fast. Thanks to all of you reading and praying at home! We miss you guys –and we wish you were here to experience this with us.
The Haiti 12 Team
You can find more pictures from the Haiti trip on our facebook page.