Seth Ashley from the Lutheran Church of Hope team shares his thoughts as the team wrap up their trip.

After a long trip to the Citadel yesterday, everyone was pretty tired this morning. Despite the disapproval of Kim, we started today with an early breakfast anyway. Afterwards, we piled into the back of the truck and headed to Eastern Pignon to pour two concrete floors. With our seasoned veterans in the bucket brigade, we made short work of the first house.

We headed to the second house just as the hot Haitian sun started to come to strength, and the temperature began to increase rapidly. This house was much further back in the cacti-lined avenues, and much harder to get to. Low hanging live electrical wires threatened to snag anyone sitting too tall in the back of the truck. 

As we approached the house, we saw the Haitian family sitting outside under a shade tree with all of their belongings. They greeted us warmly, and we got to work. Pouring the concrete floor was hot and tiring, but we all still enjoyed it anyway. This house was much larger than the first one, and required thicker concrete since it was built on a slight incline. To my surprise, a few of the Haitian workers were ones I had worked with on my trip to Haiti last year. It was nice to see them again and catch up.

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Concrete floor finished!

We left the house tired but smiling, and got back to the campus for a short lunch break. After the needed break, we headed back out on the bumpy roads for some follow up visits to floors we had poured earlier this week. It was great to see the concrete effect (pun intended) we had on these amazing peoples’ lives. We prayed with each family for their new floor, and gave them a bible to have in their house. They were genuinely thankful and gracious, and I loved to celebrate their new floor with them.

After the visits, we went back to the campus and enjoyed one of our last days in Haiti. We played with the local children until the sun went down, enjoying the beautiful Haitian sunset. We had a great time hanging out with them, they are so full of energy and fire. We said our good byes in broken Creole, hoping to see each other again tomorrow.

A walk across the river

I have had a great time in Haiti. One of the most enjoyable parts is being around the Haitians themselves. They are such genuine and thankful people, qualities that are hard to find in American society. Even though Haitians are extremely poor financially, they are rich in faith and community. Their limited possessions do not possess them.  They prize relationships and family/community bonds. They are the finest and most resilient people I have ever known, and it has been an honor to work with them.

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