Haiti Highlights – Monday, 1/12/2015

We enjoyed breakfast of oatmeal, hard boiled eggs, bananas & glorious Haitian coffee! We split up into two groups and had another work day – the first group laid a concrete floor using the bucket brigade, starring – Steve, Liz, Carla, Matthew, Courtney and Sophie – the Dream Team! Tons of gravel were hauled to a sand pile where water and bags of concrete were mixed and then transported 50 feet by about 200 buckets full to cover a 16’ x 16’ home with 4 rooms. We got back and took a quickie bucket bath back at the house to wash off and meet up with the team of Keith, Jill, Loren, Lora, Tyler, Natalie and Hanna, who manually tilled up a large plot of ground using basic tools (pick axes, rakes and shovels) in preparation for a garden.

Emily and Julia got the opportunity to job shadow at the local hospital and saw a leg amputation just below the knee and a hysterectomy, wearing full gear (hairnet, facemask and shoe nets). They were able to shadow American doctors who were more than willing to communicate the procedures as they progressed.

Lunch was tuna sandwiches on Haitian bread with sugar cane sections and slaw with tomato slices – and, of course, most of us had an ice cold coke!

At about 1:00pm we all walked into town to attend the funeral of a little girl named Edeline, who died soon after we visited her in the hospital yesterday. Very tragic sceen at the cemetery in that no friends or relatives attended – but it was heartwarming as Bill and Jenifer from the local orphanage and our Many Hands team were there to say a few words, sing and then watch Edeline put to rest. Many on our team were disturbed in the cemetery, as Haitian culture includes Voodoo practices that were evidenced around us by dolls stuck to trees. Also, the limited space in the cemetery resulted in the formerly buried being dug up and their bones cast aimlessly around the area in which we were standing – quite morbid!

Gathered at the grave site for Edelines funeral

Gathered at the grave site for Edelines funeral

The voodoo practice of dolls in the trees of the cemetery The casket being lowed into the grave

Then we all walked over to Edeline’s mother Modeline’s house to console her as she grieved bitterly. Lucia sat and prayed for her and gave her one of her special Jezi necklaces that she made for the woman of Haiti. We all gathered around her in her modest home – as she sat, we prayed for her, sang and comforted her with hugs. I truly believe that the peace of God was with her (and us) during and after our visit!

This is a picture taken of Edeline on Jan 1, 2015. She was 6 years old.

Then we let our collective “hair down” as we danced and jammed to various tunes on the covered porch of the house! It was a much needed respite from our physically and emotionally exhausting day. Dinner was absolutely spectacular – Beatrice, EvNee and Nelta are extraordinary cooks! They prepared a feast of chicken legs, lasagna, scalloped potatoes, rice with onion gravy, fried akra (Matthew’s favorite) and the insanely delicious “Deuce”, a very sweet treat! We took up a collection to provide a tip and a very warm hug to each cook, as they have been preparing 3 meals a day for the last week.

A much needed dance time before dinner Beatrice and Evenie preparing deuce Beatrice, Evenie and Nelta – the cooks

Following dinner, we shared our high, low and bud (what we’re looking forward to) – and sang several songs together. The Haitian girls downstairs were offering to put braids in the “Blanc’s” hair (Blanc is Haitain for white). Matthew and Tyler were first in line – followed by Jill, Loren, Julia, Emily and Sophie. They all look really cool.

Well, this is the last entry as we experience the bitter/sweet end to a successful mission trip. We all look forward to seeing our friends and family back home to share our experiences and the blessings each of us has received from the wonderful people of Haiti.