Did y’all miss me?!
I’ve been in Haiti driving tap-taps (not really, but I got to ride in the back of one), sweating like crazy, and pushing wheelbarrows of dirt and base rock for a church foundation in Leveque. I’m glad to report that since I arrived home, I’ve taken 4 showers, soaked in the tub twice, washed my really stinky clothes (multiple cycles), and my backpack is washed and air-drying outside.
THE REUNION OF THE CENTURY ….. en route to Port-au-Prince, during a layover at Miami International Airport, I saw Jenny C. She and I went to elementary school and we haven’t seen each other since the sixth grade!!!! Believe me, neither one of us has changed a bit. =) She has traveled to Haiti numerous times over the years working and volunteering in orphanages and children’s hospitals. She also owns her own snow-cone stand in Bowling Green, Kentucky. She’s pretty much the bee’s knees in my book for these two reasons.
This trip to Haiti was incredible. While I wouldn’t trade last year’s trip for any amount of money, this one was different. We lived, worked, played, and worshiped as a family unit. Church and school leaders live on one side on the property and the Haitian construction site coordinator lives on the other. Students and church members live nearby also. The church, literally, is the center of community life.
Speaking of the work site, the Methodist School of Leveque was rebuilt in 2011. Earlier this year, UMVIM teams began clearing the demolished church and construction on the new building immediately followed. Until the church is complete, however, worship takes place inside a classroom and choir practice in a large hallway. The hallway also served as the site of our team’s impromptu nail salon. We packed several bottles of nail polish and it was a *HUGE* success with the girls in the community!!!!
When we arrived, base rock had been placed in the majority of the squares (each square measures approximately 10 feet by 10 feet). Needless to say, we had our work cut out for us.
At the bottom of the last square, each person on our team wrote a message on a rock. Since I’m an over-achiever, I decorated my rock with Sapphire Siren and French White Tip nail polish. My rock is really adorable. Don’t you think?!
By the end of the week, all squares of the foundation had been filled with base rock and a three-inch layer of concrete had been poured in section as well. I feel really sorry for future teams as they will be mixing and hauling TONS of concrete … that’s a LOT of work.
Whomever said mission trips were boring has never traveled with fun, fabulous, and friendly folks like us. I mean, we work hard and we play hard. Plus, while graciously supporting the Haitian economy, we had this amazing view …. go ahead, be jealous:
Yes, Haiti has beautiful beaches. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
The town on Leveque is also home to Haiti’s largest deaf community. Mission of Hope has built an entire community with permanent housing for the deaf and hearing-impaired. During an afternoon walk-about, we toured the community and met several of its residents.
THE FACES OF HAITI ARE PRECIOUS TO ME
Finally, I visited the site where I worked last year. Two other team members and I were on the 2011 Haiti Mission Team and seeing this school in its finished state was unbelievable.
The Methodist School in Puit Blains is complete with its second-story addition and basketball court. It is the most beautiful building I’ve ever seen!!!!!!!!! Standing in a classroom atop the second floor overlooking the property adorned with a full-size basketball court was the most rewarding, fulfilling, and gratifying moment of the entire trip.
I’m exhausted but grateful for the experience. Thanks to all the wonderful ladies who provided guest posts (told you they were awesome!!!) and took care of Three 31 while I was gone.