Hello and welcome to Grand Goave, Haiti!
It’s 8:45pm on our second day in Haiti, and the team has dispersed into the various corners of the main house. Janessa is playing Up and Down The River with guys from another team; Luke, Jess & Byron are chatting on the couch; Lynn & I (Laura) are sitting blogging with you, and the rest of the team is… well… I’m sure they’re safe somewhere :)
Be advised, all your kids, parents & friends are all safe and well, albeit HOT!!! It’s been a huge adjustment, living with being constantly drenched in our own sweat. 37 degrees today, and that’s not even factoring in the humidity. Even my fingers are sticking to the keyboard as I type. But we are all beginning our journey of adjustment. We figure that we’ll be properly adjusted to the heat the day after we leave.
The drive through Port au Prince on the way to Grand Goave was an exciting, yet challenging introduction to life in Haiti. We were struck by the thousands upon thousands of people that were out on the streets. SO many people working hard, selling everything from piles of second hand clothes, to furniture, to mounds of mangos. And everywhere you looked, water & pop “vendors” lined the streets & even ran beside the van trying to sell to our driver every time we slowed down. Many uniformed children criss-crossed through the traffic that was moving at 60-80 kph (we were so scared for them!). And of course, we saw a lot of damage from the earthquake of 2010. Fallen down buildings, piles of rubble & garbage, and people trying to find refuge from the heat in barrels of water and muddy streams.
A lot to take in during a 2 hour drive. That was yesterday.
This morning we started off with a tour of the compound and Haiti Arise’s other properties, passing through what they called a village, but seemed much smaller than that. Along the way we met a garter snake and discovered that Hatians do NOT like snakes.
Two of the properties we viewed were a soon-to-be goat farm and the site of what will be a huge new venture for Haiti Arise. The ground is starting to be prepared for this new venture - a children’s village dedicated to rescuing slave children. It's a massive undertaking, and will also include a large school running from kindergarten to high school, and a brand new site for their church.
After lunch we dispersed into work teams, some starting to paint parts of the technical college while, others sorted through the mountains of YOUR GENEROUS DONATIONS! Thank-you so much for giving!!!! We’re excited to distribute toys to the kids, and bags of hygiene products or baby supplies later this week.
Rest assured, we’re being well fed! Most of haven’t even touched the snacks we brought (except the sour keys, thanks Lisa!), and all of us have enjoyed experiencing Haitian cuisine, most of us for the first time. (Goat tastes great, by the way!) We also attended our first Haiti Arise church service this evening, and are looking forward to getting to know the church members better throughout the coming week.
Your family members say “HI!”, and we request that you keep praying for us during the next 9 days.
Pray for our health and our courage, as we face new experiences and new challenges each day. And also pray for God to speak to each one of us in a powerful way while we’re here. We have already begun to see that happening, and it's a beautiful thing.
Thank-you all for your support & your prayers. We are very conscious of your love, and the fact that you are there at home, waiting for us to return. We are grateful to have such a wonderful church family back home!
Keep checking this blog every day, as the rest of the team will be taking turns blogging throughout the week.
Talk to you soon. We love you!
Laura & Lynn
PS. As we had iffy internet access April 28th, we'll post April 29th tonight. (God willing! :)