Monday, July 12, 2010

Saturday June 5th: Day #8 in Haiti

Today we woke up around 4:30 and did some last minute packing before we had to head to the airport. Customs at the airport took FOREVER. We were all anxiously awaiting to get on the plane...finally it was my turn and I can't tell you what it felt like as I walked on the plane and felt the AIR CONDITIONER! I had gone 8 days without it and I missed it so much! The flights home weren't bad at all. I was excited to see my family but I was devastated that I already had to leave. It was nice when we landed in Miami and I could finally use my cell phone...I had missed that a lot as well! After Miami we flew to Dallas and then OKC! Most of the families came to welcome us home! My mom and dad came and picked Cassie (my roommate) and I up...they brought flowers, it was so sweet!! I was so happy to see them!

Unfortunately one of my bags did not make it on the flight, so we had to spend 30 minutes trying to find this bag when all we wanted to do was go home! They finally found it in some other state, who knows where! and they shipped it to me the next day :) So now I'm sure your wondering what's next?? Well if your not wondering I'm sorry but I'm going to tell you anways!

It has been over 30 days since we have been back from Haiti and, as some of you may know, I will be going back again in September (with my mother! I am excited to be given the opportunity to serve with her). I have been praying about returning since I have been back and only wanted to go back if it was God's will for me. I feel like God has put everything into place for me to go back and I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to go with another team from Journey Church. More than anything I would love for you to pray for not only me, but my team as well. So please PRAY that God will use me and my story, and my teammates, while on our trip to Haiti. And please, if you can, GIVE. I believe God blesses us so that we can bless others. Even one buck. It's going to cost $1750 total for me to go again. Just email me at or send me a Facebook message and I can send you my address and other information.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. Thank you all again so much for supporting me financially and prayerfully. I wish I could express to you the life change that this has brought about it me but it is simply too big and wonderful to put into words. I went to Haiti expecting to change lives of the people I interacted with, never did I think that they would change mine. They taught me what it really means to literally have nothing, except God, and to still have everything. If you would like to talk to me more about this experience I would love to share more with you.

Friday June 4th: Day #7 in Haiti

Ahhh!!! Today was the DAY we got to go to the beach and I was soooo pumped!!! You may not be able to see in the pictures, but you can see the ocean from the MOH, so it was tempting all week and finally we got to go!

We woke up that morning and we had a few hours to spare before we left for the beach! I decided I would go down to the clinic and the prosthetics lab..A very sweet Haitian lady let us take pictures of her walking for the second time with her new was touching!

After we got ready to head to the beach! YAY!!! The view was absolutely is surrounded by mountains!

We got to eat a Haitian lunch at the beach and then after we went snorkeling! Finally it was time to head back to the MOH and we had dinner once we returned. After dinner it started raining again so we all started packing and had a great last night..I went to bed early so that I would be well rested for a long day tomorrow of traveling.

Thursday June 3rd: Day #6 in Haiti

Today was a very difficult day for me. We did construction work in the morning just like we did every other morning. This was our FINAL day of construction and we were all ecstatic! This was the hardest day for me because I was physically exhausted from doing all of the manual labor. I have never worked that hard in my life! I was just counting down the minutes until lunch and there was so many times throughout the morning that I just wanted to give up! What kept me going was that I was very excited for the afternoon because we were going to go out into the villages and go to two different orphanages. After lunch, I decided to take a quick nap so that I was recharged for the rest of the day. Unfortunately, after I woke up from my nap, I was not feeling so great. I took some medicine and was contemplating whether or not I should just stay in bed for the afternoon. Finally, I decided to just suck it up and go with the group to the villages. I am SO thankful I decided to go!

The first orphanage we went to was called Good Samaritan... It was actually destroyed in the earthquake so they now live on the other side of the road in tents. There are about 50 to 70 children that live in this orphanage, and unfortunately it is not run by the best Haitians. I will never forget, as we are walking into the orphanage, it was like someone yelled GO! to the children because they all started running as fast as they could toward us! We just spent time loving on the children and holding the younger ones! We played sports with some of the older ones as well..We brought flip flops to pass out to the boys and dresses to pass out to the girls. We regret doing that though because as soon as we left we found out that some of the people the run the orphanage will take what the children are given and they will sell it back out in the next time I go I am taking snacks that the children can eat in front of me and it won't be taken from them. I held this little boy, Emmanuel, for a really long time! He was about a year old and he was so precious. I will never forget the look on the faces of the children as we give them their flip flops and dresses. This part of the trip touched me the most...I can't even put it in words...

After Good Samaritan, we got to go to another orphanage called Les Enfants du Roi. We took a walk thru the villages and finally made it...This was a special orphanage because it was funded by two guys named Jeremy and Jay. These two guys are about 25 years old and they are from Florida. They have now been living in Haiti for almost one year and they raised enough money to have this orphanage built. They now live at the Mission of Hope and volunteer there! Jeremy was like our go-to-guy all week and he was awesome! All of the Haitians really love these two guys! Anyways we got to go to their orphanage and it is an all boy orphanage...we played sports and passed out gifts to these children as well and it was a lot of fun! It was sad to see because this orphanage was well run where as Good Samaritan was a complete mess...

After the orphanages, we went back to the MOH where we relaxed and played games and got to know everyone better. Once again, it rained and so it was another nice relaxing evening!

Wednesday June 2nd; Day #5 in Haiti

5 am came way to soon once again, but I was beginning to get used to this whole getting up extremely early thing that I'm not accustomed to back home. This morning was the best morning yet because we got to go down to the MOH School and see all of the children arrive. There are currently 1250 children enrolled at the MOH that walk who knows how far to school every morning. All of these children are sponsored (mainly by people in the U.S.) because it costs $35 a month per child to attend school. When we arrived at the school we were swarmed by children, it was amazing! They were the most precious things in their cute little matching uniforms. We got to hang out with them for about 30 minutes and then all of the kids were called to line up in front of the school by the flagpoles, and they said a prayer! It was then time for the children to go to class, I was sad because I still wanted to hang out and play with them...

After we left the school, I had to help sort medical supplies till noon again! I was starting to get used to the heat but we were getting physically exhausted as the week went on!

Today was a day that I realized how much I LOVED being in Haiti, yes of course I missed my family and friends and I hated that I couldn't really talk to them....but today was the day that I knew that I definitely wanted to come back to Haiti and maybe even live in Haiti for awhile. I mean I am young, not married, nor do I have kids (and I don't see any of this happening in the near future) SO why not use this opportunity that God has given me and do what I am called to do? So I have been praying about this and will continue to pray about this important decision...After lunch we had the privilege of going to a remote orphanage called Tytoo Gardens. There were only about 20 children at this orphanage and most of them were older children.

I was torn because I didn't know what I should do to interact with the older children. It's easy to interact with the babies and toddlers because they just want to be held, but when it comes to the older children I didn't know what to do....SOOO I thought for a moment and then it dawned on me! What do older girls love to do in Haiti you ask???? BRAID!!! So I went and got the translator and had them ask the girls to braid my hair! They were thrilled to do it and let me just say it HURT so bad, but they were trying to be very gentle with me! But beauty is pain right?? Wrong! I'm not sure the look fit me too well..

Fortunately for me, you won't be seeing any pictures of the final product because of course as soon as the girl was about 3/4ths of the way done, we are told that we need to leave immediately because they need the bus back at the mission by a certain time! So I had to walk around with my hair only 3/4ths of the way braided while the other part was like a fro...Needless to say I got back to the MOH, took a nap on my lovely new hairdo, and when I woke up had a KILLER headache because the braids were so tight...I seeked some help and after about 20 minutes they were all out, I felt awful for taking them out but I felt much better once my hair was back to normal!

Today was the 2nd day of hurricane season and around dinner it started raining, no scratch that pouring, no scratch that it was a MONSOON! So we just hung around cabin and played games! It was a nice relaxing evening and I got a great nights rest :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Tuesday June 1st: Day #4 in Haiti

Tuesday June 1st: Day #4 in Haiti

My day started at 5 am once again..I was beginning to get used to the roosters crowing as the sun came up literally around 4:30!! Today was a very extremely difficult day for me. I was physically exhausted from all of the work yesterday! My body ached in places I didn't even know it could. Who would have thought sorting thru medical supplies would make me so sore? NOT ME! We ate breakfast and then were off to our various jobs. Of course I choose to sort medical supplies again, so I did that from around 8 to noon! It was hotter than the day before and there was so many times I wanted to give up! One thing I learned in Haiti is hot water taste amazing, I was just grateful for some water! It was nice to have some ice cold water though once I got back to the states! I didn't realize how much I took ice cold water and air conditioning for granted..

Anyways back to my day...So after we worked, we had lunch and then were all anxious as we got ready to tour Port-au-Prince. It was only about a 30 minute bus ride from the MOH...did I mention what a BUMPY ride it was?! Well in all seriousness, this was the hardest thing that I have ever had to see. No words can even express what I saw, so I will try to explain it but I think the best way is to show pictures, and that is not going to even do justice...Some of these may be blurry because they were taking from a moving bus!

These pictures were taken by Brooks, a photographer that was with us on the tour... you should really check out his site he has more like this that he took and they are absolutely gorgeous...

The thing that shocked me most was how much trash was everywhere. There is no trash system in Haiti so they just throw the trash on the ground, it is heartbreaking.

Here is when my team and I got out at the embassy in Port-au-Prince..

Unfortunately I cannot put all my pictures of Port-au-Prince on here but here is a link you can go to if you wanna see more pictures that I took... and