Sunday, July 8, 2012

Initial Haiti Thoughts

We got back home at 1:00 am this morning, after 21 hours of travel.  I didn't get much sleep after that and no nap today, so I am just about to pass out right now.

We had a great trip.  I have a lot to share and a lot to think about.  I'm still trying to process everything and figure out how it has changed me and my life here in the States.  I'm also trying to figure out the best way to post all of my thoughts here.  I don't want to bore any of my few faithful readers with too much info and pictures.  But at the same time, I keep this blog primarily for my own personal records, so I do want to write down as many details as I can so I don't forget anything.

For now, here are a couple of pictures and a few random thoughts  from our trip:
We traveled to Northwest Haiti Christian Mission in St. Louis de Nord.  We got an overview of what the mission does, and we were able to help out with a variety of their programs.  We worked a lot with children.  The mission has been in Haiti for 30 years and they seem to be well established in the community.  They also seem to be dedicated to finding ways to help the people of Haiti in a way that actually works.  Right now they are in the midst of restructuring their programs in order to be more effective in their outreach.  More about this later.  I'm still working through some thoughts about how what we saw and did in Haiti can/should affect the way I live my life in the United States.

 The weather was great.  I was worried about it being miserably hot, but it wasn't bad at all.  I'm guessing temps were in the low 90s.  The sun was hot, and we did a lot of sweating.  But there was almost always a nice tropical breeze which kept us feeling fairly comfortable the whole time.  We were shocked when we got home and saw temps holding steady at over 100 all week.  We picked a good week to go to Haiti!
I am covered in bites from head to toe.  Everyone on our team had a lot of bites, but I feel like I had the most.  I practically bathed myself in 100% Deet bug spray the entire trip, day and night.  I just about used the whole bottle of spray in six days.  Yet still, I'm covered from head to toe with bites.  I don't even think it is possible to count them.  They are not all mosquito bites.  I'm sure some of them were from mosquitos, but we are thinking that the majority of these bites are from another source.  Fleas?  Bedbugs?  Chiggers?  Dust mites? I don't know.  I seemed to get the most bites at night.  I did examine my bed frequently, but I never saw a bug on it.  For now, I have banished my bags from Haiti to the garage until I can figure out how to be sure that no bugs are in them! 

Everyone told me about the Haitian children:  how adorable they were, how much love they would show us, etc.  And everyone was right!  There was always a cute kid around who wanted to hold your hand or talk to you.   It is amazing how children are the same, no matter where they live in the world or what language they speak. 

Drinking cold water is a treat that I will try to never take for granted again.  I underestimated how undesirable a bottle of lukewarm water could be!

Like I said above, I will have many more pictures and more info about our trip to share soon!!


Cindyb said...

Looking forward to hearing all about your trip.

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