Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Haiti mission trip recap - Friday, Part 2

Friday, July 16, 2010 5:30pm
Waiting outside hotel, Jacmel, Haiti

Still waiting for our tap tap to take us to the party at the church.  We were supposed to leave at 5pm.  I'm getting a little anxious about tomrrow's travel so standing around doing nothing is difficult.
Back at the hotel

Back from the closing dinner/party.  It was Haitian style.  We got there an hour later than planned and waited around for everything to be ready. There were about 100 church people (kids and adults) there for the party. 

Me with Marjorie, before the party started at church. She is holding the dress I gave her.

It was raining, so we ate in the church.  It was dark, so they had the 2 lights on in the room. Still pretty dark and very hot/muggy.  They made "American" food for us- french fries, macaroni and cheese, pasta salad, fried chicken, baked chicken, lasagna, blueberry muffins and pop. Quite a spread!

Our American party dinner!
 It was really hot in the church, and crowded, and I got sick to my stomach before I finished eating.  I ended up having go outside to get some air and walk around. Marjorie noticed I was not right and came with me.  A couple of the teenage girls came too.  They kept asking me if I felt bad and sick, I did my best to communicate to them that my stomach was upset but that I would be fine. They seemed very worried.  I tried to reassure them that I was fine.

Before dinner, I gave Marjorie by dress to keep. She was happy. We kind of said our goodbyes them.  Jennifer helped translate a little bit.  Marjorie told me that she is my "Haitian mom" and I am her "American daughter".

Notation at the top of my journal page: 2 Tim 2:3 "Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus."

After dinner, the Texas youth group kids brought up all the kitchen ladies and washed their feet as a way to thank them for their service to us.  (Another example of the 'us and them' that happened throughout the week.  I was asked to help make sure all of the kitchen ladies went up to the chairs when the time came, but none of the other "non-Texan" group members - including the other college aged members - were invited to participate in this thank you.) The kitchen ladies were asked to come up and sit in the chairs so that our team could thank them for the work they did for us.  Most of the ladies were uncomfortable being thanked and going up to the front, so I had to walk around and bring them up.  Julie figured out what was going to happen and ran outside. I followed her and found her trying to clean her feet off before they washed hers.  I stopped her and brought her back inside.  I was crying a little because I was happy the ladies got recognized publicly. It doesn't happen often and I know it meant a lot to them.

After the kitchen ladies thank you, a few of the Haitian bosses - Pastors, kitchen leader, praise team leaster - plus a couple of the kids talked about our work this week.  It was very nice.  Our translator (Reggie) said we were "the best team ever".

Reggie (left) translates as Pastor Roderick (right) talks about the work we accomplished during the week
We were supposed to do a tour today of the work sites, but since it was raining that didn't happen. But, there were quite a few:

* Completing work and cleaning up at the widow's house
* Starting work on the new wall at the tap tap drivers house
* Finishing the ceiling of the church, sanding and painting walls of church
* Hauling rubble from inside church where wall was replaced
* Sanding and painting at Restoration Center
* Feeding about 200 kids at the meal program each day
* Stocked medical clinic and helped with check in's for medical visits
* Lots of soccer and other activities with the kids

We were called up one at a time and given gifts. I received a "Haiti" hair clip, a serving tray and a Jacmel t-shirt. Very cool! I think the shirt is too small, but we'll see. (yes, too small)

After the gifts, we said our goodbyes. It was a sad time, but I didn't cry, mostly because I still felt like I was going to puke.  A few of the Haitians - Reggie, Marjorie, Ricardo, David - asked me when I will come back.  We are so rich compared to them, they have no understanding of the concept that it is expensive and not super easy to fly from Washington state to Haiti anytime I want. =)  I told Fedony to email me about supplies they need.  I will also try to send a thank you email when I get home.

We rode back to the hotel in a little pickup truck. No benches. Still raining. We fit 10 people in the back. Haitian style!

Our final debriefing was to talk about what we learned from our experience here. Frankly, I didn't pay much attention because a lot of the answers were irritating me. (I was tired and feeling sick.) Nice attitude, huh? Most everyone talked about diligence and humility.  Here is what I said:

I've been learning lessons for a long time about not seeking recognition for work (as the motivation for doing something) and working with the kitchen ladies reminded me of this becuase their culture rarely recognizes them and yet they work hard and never complain. I saw it first hand because I was, at times, treated that way subtly by some members of our own group. (Like it wasn't flashy or physically tough work, so it didn't count.)  It was a good lesson about doing my "mom job" without moaning for recognition or getting all focused on getting out of the house or needing breaks.  These ladies don't take breaks. They do what needs to be done.  I should be able to live my life that way too, without complaint or the need for recognition that I am doing a great job or am awesome or something.

An hour later...

Guts are still weird. I just finished having some pretty serious diarrhea.   My first since that little episode on Wednesday. This seems worse than that, partially because I still feel like I'm going to throw up.  I took some Tums.  I haven't taken an Imodium all week, but given my current stomach and the early morning (long and winding) drive, I probably will in the morning.

Praying the rains let up.  Apparently the road we are taking to PaP gets flooded or mudslided fairly often in the rain.  If the vans get here when they are supposed to (6am), we will have 6 hours to get to PaP, which *should* be plenty of time.  Last week the team that was here cut it really close to make their flight, so I think we are all a little nervous about that.

1 comment:

  1. Other than being sick, what a cool experience. I love you and your Haitian mom!