After arriving in Haiti the first thing I noticed was the heat-- not necessarily the intense heat of an oven but a stifling humid heat that clings to your skin and makes you feel sticky. After getting out of the airport the team was divided into two big vans, and I sat in the back corner of one while a whole lot of our luggage was piled on top of the vehicle. I remember the giddy excitement I felt as we left the airport and saw our first real taste of the country.
I immediately thought of Guatemala and the missions trip I had gone on there. It was a bitter-sweet memory, but soon it was lost as the similarities between the two trips began to slowly decline in my mind.
What I think a lot of us saw most prominently was the garbage piled everywhere. It littered the streets, in the alleys, in the waterways and all over the sidewalks. It's very hard to imagine living in a place that is so dirty, especially coming from a country that sometimes seems to be full of germ freaks.
We also saw lots and lots of Haitian people. It was so busy compared to home where only a small amount of the population is seen out of doors. We saw Haitians working and going places, but we also saw a lot of people waiting for an opportunity to do so.
After arriving at the campus we ate lunch, although to me it felt like it should have been supper I was so tired. After having time to rest we got to walk around and see some of what Haiti ARISE has been doing here, specifically the Children's Village.
I walked a dirt and gravel street and on one side of me was a tall thick cement wall on top of which wicked looking broken glass bottles were embedded. On the other side there was a fence which separated us from palm and banana trees along with a beautiful assortment of tropical plants. Then we were walking the street where we saw locals going about their daily lives, so obviously foreign to the ones we had all left behind. And then we headed through a tall gate into big open space where the Children's village is being built. The idea of these homes is not only to get orphans out of horrific situations and put a roof over their heads, but also give them a home, a family and a future.
At the conclusion of our night we sat atop the roof of a building in the dark, and the warm, and surrounded by the sounds of crickets. We shared with each other and listened more about the vision of Haiti ARISE and what God is doing here. We are blessed to have come here safely and to have the opportunity to be impacted by this amazing experience.
I would write more, but even though it's only 8:30 here and like 6:30 in Canada I feel so tired I could seriously fall over right here.
Thank you all for your prayers and support.
ARISE Children's Village: