Friday, June 24, 2016

Day 5 - Andrew and Katie

Today is June 24th, our 5th day in Haiti. The first thing we did today was go to the Church on the Rock. Most of us woke up around 5:30 and were on our way by 6:00 am. I went to Haiti 2 years ago and remember a little bit about this church but not too much. I can honestly say that I wish my church at home was more like this one. The service was held in a large warehouse with a stage, great band, and many benches that were all open because everyone was walking/ standing around. I cannot begin to describe the feeling of being in this church while the incredible pastor preaches and sings at the same time. The joy I saw in the people dancing is something I can only wish to obtain. We then went back to the guest house, ate breakfast, and got ready to leave again. Our next stop was Carrefourr (car-four), a home for the sick and dying teenagers and adults. I was a little uneasy going into this activity because I did not know how I was going to feel there. Most of the people at Carrefourr were around my age and dying from an illness that could be easily cured in the U.S. Our tap tap ride there took around 2 hours because of the traffic, so unfortunately we were not able to stay there for very long. When we got there, guys and girls were split up and on our team we only have 4 guys. There were 2 different rooms that we went into, and what we did was rub lotion on their aching bodies and gave them massages that they loved. I can vividly remember the tired, yellow eyes of the second guy I massaged. After being there for a short 45 minutes, we headed out to the Haitian museum. Our excellent tour guide, Robert, told us about the rich history of Haiti and how it came to be. The things that I have seen today will forever be in my mind and heart.

- Andrew Carson

Today is Friday June 24th in Haiti. With a high temperature of 96 degrees and humidity, we had the opportunity to wake up at 5:30 to go to a Church on the Rock.  This experience was eye opening with a whole new way to worship and praise the Lord.  The atmosphere of the place was overwhelming with all the peace and joy of the Haitians.  After we came back and ate breakfast, we left for Carrefourr, which is a home for sick and dying teenagers and elders.  The two hour drive to see them was well worth it.  The simple task of lathering lotions on their aching bodies and nail painting on these ladies was so fulfilling.  Even though you can't fully communicate with words, you can still connect through touch and gestures.  You could see the appreciation from each one and it was so rewarding to be able to see their smiles that light up the room.  Each and every person that I have met during this amazing experience has made a such a positive impact on me and I wouldn't trade for anything.

-Katie Nelson

Water Truck Day-by Darren

Day 3-Water Truck Day

One of the highlights of our week of mission in Haiti seems to always be the days we have the opportunity to spend on the water trucks.  What do I mean by this?  You see Port au Prince, a city of just under 1 million people, has no municipal water or sewer service.  That means each household needs to have water delivered and stored in a cistern or in the poorer neighborhoods, stored in whatever type of vessel they can find.

Healing Haiti has a mission of delivering fresh water to a neighborhood called Cite Soleil.  This is an area of approximately 3 miles by 3 miles square and had an estimated population of 300,000 people.  In addition to such a dense population this neighborhood also is run by violent gangs.  Almost 10 years ago, Healing Haiti was able to reach a sort of “truce” between the gangs and the police that allows us to deliver fresh water to these neighborhoods for Port au Prince’s poorest of the poor.  It’s estimated that the average family in Cite Soleil lives on less than $1 per day. 

We have 2 water trucks that operate 6 days per week with 5-6 deliveries per water truck per day.  One truck holds 3500 gallons and the other is 2500 gallons.  When the water truck rolls into the neighborhood the people of that area pour out onto the streets carrying whatever container might hold water for the upcoming week.  In addition to the adults the children seem to come from anywhere and everywhere.  They come in all shapes and sizes from the tiniest little walking baby to 10-11 year olds. 

As we climb off the back of our tap tap one is immediately barraged with these wonderful kids!  They shout at you “po tem” “po tem” which in Creole means, “pick me up” “pick me up”!  These kids will melt your heart from the moment you reach down to pick one up.  The minute they are in your arms they start to chatter in Creole.  Even though I can’t understand a word of the conversation, we have it anyway. 

It never fails that one adorable little one will latch on to me for the entire water truck stop. 

Back to the task at hand.  The water truck process is pretty amazing.  As I mentioned everyone comes to the truck with whatever can hold water.  There are dozens of 5 gallon pails, pots and pans and on one stop today there was the reservoir portion of a port-a-potty.    Can’t imagine how they moved that huge amount of water back to their house. 

Our job is to give our awesome Haitian staff a little rest from the daily task of unloading the water.  We help everyone line up in a straight line with their containers line up in an assembly line fashion.   2 people man the 6” water hose. 

To get a sense of what this really looks like, click this link to an awesome video that was shot while we were out on the water truck.