We finally figured out how to add to the blog! The team arrived safely and on time in Port Au Prince. The drivers and helpers were amazing as they shepherded twenty-five of us (including the Canadians) through the luggage pick-up (we only lost one bag), through the parking lot (think of Christmas at Wal-mart with no painted lines to guide you into a parking slot) and into two vans and one pick-up truck. The drive through PAP was exciting, overwhelming, amazing, and surprising. Driving here is an adventure where there seems to be loosely held rules of the road, basically if you think you can pass you do and honk your horn the whole time you are passing. I (Kelley) was overwhelmed by the poverty and the tent/shack living arrangements that went on and on and on as we drove. Joshua was amazed by the resourcefulness of the people being able to create "homes" out of anything and everything they can find. Daniel was surprised at how much better it was than he thought it would be.
We were so grateful to arrive at Haiti Arise and see our beautiful accomodations, clean rooms, running water and electricity-so many here don't have any of those luxuries. We cleaned up quickly and headed to church for an awesome service where we sang familiar church songs in Creole, heard the message in Creole and English, and Joshua made some new friends very quickly.
On Wednesday we had our first work day. Daniel cleaned out an area and straightened it up. Josh and Kelley built a desk chair, then Josh took a nap on the couch (he needed it after not sleeping on the plane the night before). Kelley worked with the ladies to build a desk, clean out offices and put the new office furniture in the clean rooms. After lunch, Daniel built another desk with Greg, and Josh played soccer with his new friend, Asher. Pastor Mark took all of us on a walk down the road to the Children's Village area that is under construction and then through the local village. The young children were very excited to see us. They knew right away how to sit and pose for their photo. They were so delighted to see their picture right after it was taken. We saw two of the homes that Haiti Arise has built-very strong and long lasting. Pastor Mark also took us out to the future sight of the goat farm. I (Kelley) am so impressed with how forward thinking they are in helping the Haitian people!
After a great night of sleep, we woke up refreshed today and ready to tackle another work day of picking up rotten mangoes, cleaning up the building site for the Technical School, helping Roy survey the 2nd floor of the school so it will be ready for the concrete pour tomorrow. After an hour of rain the main yard was quite muddy, however, that didn't deter Emily, Daniel and Josh from going outside to play in it! Two very muddy buddies! Kelley and several ladies worked on preparing VBS materials for next week. By the way, our first miracle...our lost luggage showed up at the airport-no name tags, just red and blue duct tape on the handle and a list of contents-all of which were supplies for VBS!! Yay God!!