Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Family Team / Day Three / 7.17.19

The day started out like the others with a well prepared breakfast made by our wonderful cooks. 

We then started our day with our first stop at Hope Church, school and clinic in Cite Soleil.  We were overwhelmed by the greeting we received as we arrived.  Neighborhood kids came running and were so excited to see us.     Hope Church and clinic was a remarkable oasis of hope amidst extreme poverty.  On the tour of the church we were told that it had been built on a garbage dump and they had to dig down thru 80 feet of trash for the foundation to get to solid ground.  
After the tour we had our first stop with the water truck.    Many of us were unprepared for the controlled chaos that occurred as we provided water to families who live there.   Without this ministry of Healing Haiti delivering water 6 times per week they have no other access to fresh water.    As soon as we got off the Tap Tap (bus) we were inundated with children wanting our attention and love.   Many of the guys would be holding three kids at a time (everyone on our team were holding Haitian kids at one point or another).   In amongst interacting with the kids we would be asked by neighborhood women to help them take their water (buckets, pails, tubs, water containers) back to their homes.    The kids would hang onto you as you walked and as soon as you dropped off the water wanted us to pick them up again.  Back to the water truck to do it all again.  

After 45 minutes we moved to a different location and kept interacting with the kids and delivering water.  
Once that stop was finished, we visited Fleri farm. Fleri means flourish in Creole.   The farm is another project to provide jobs for Haitians and help stimulate the economy.   The 28-acre farm grows 40 different varieties of crops.  These aren’t like farms at home! They would intersperse canopy type trees with ground level type plants. It was so impressive how everything is done by hand – even the irrigation system. Crops include: coconut, citronella grass, mangos, limes, avocado, eggplant, vetiver grass, okra, cherries, sugar cane, plantains, amongst many others.  We learned that a plantain tree only bears one batch of fruit in its life time but only takes about 8 months to grow from 2’ high to 20’. The visit ended with us all sampling fresh coconut water and flesh. It was a refreshing end to the hot afternoon farm visit. 

From there we went to our third and final water truck stop very close to the water. The delivering of water was similar to what we did earlier in the day. After we finished that we were able to walk to the pier to enjoy the coastal winds for pictures and the chance to cool off. We watched a Haitian fishing vessel come to the pier with its sails up and a quick gust of wind threw the boat into the pier with all the fisherman abandoning ship as it crashed into the pier! It was a moment of humor amongst a long tiring day. 

Despite the long tiring day, it was extremely rich in our experience. The kids were so excited to see us.  The kids on our trip remarked it was almost like being a Rock Star being greeted like that. The words “Hey You!” for many of the Haitian kids the only English that they know will ring in our ears for a long time to come!  It was a day we will never forget!

 ~Stephen and Mark