The Pella Christian High School short term mission team has been floating in new experiences as the rain pours down around them. With high hopes and wet shoes they climbed to the top of the Citadel. After learning about the history of Haiti, the group visited one very special little girl. Follow their adventure below.
To read yesterday’s blog, click here.
January 5, 2018
Today was kind of like the story of Noah’s Ark. God gave us rain, and a lot of it. At 4:30 am we loaded up in the back of the trucks and embarked on our three hour long journey to the Citadel in the dark. We were informed that the rain would stop since it had been drizzling all night, but we were told wrong. As we arrived in Don Don for breakfast the flood gates opened up and it poured. We stood huddled under an overhang with our fresh bread, roasted peanuts, hard boiled eggs, bananas, and some of the best coffee the team has ever had. After we finished and said mèsi (thank you), we pulled the tarp over the people in the back of the truck and fit as many of us inside the cab as we could.
By the time we got to the Citadel everyone was ready to stretch their legs and do some walking. However, we found that the steep hills that we had just scaled with the truck, we now had to climb ourselves. After the first hill everyone was already asking if we were close as we were breathing hard with burning legs. Little did we know there was still 25 minutes left of this hike. At this point Mitaya opted for a horse ride the rest of the way (we were all wishing for a horse about halfway up). Relief washed over us, along with the rain, as we reached our destination, but our Haitian friends were ready for another round. We aren’t in quite as good of shape as they are, since they are used to walking/climbing everywhere daily. They thought it was funny that we were so worn out, but also offered a helping hand whenever we needed one.
After splitting into two groups, we followed our tour guides throughout the Citadel, listening to the history of how it was built by hand for fear of French invasion. Our guide mentioned how over 10,000 people died while building it, yet it never even got to be used since the invasion never happened. We got to the top and were told about the amazing views that we weren’t able to see because of all the fog which was a bummer. We took a break for lunch inside one of the rooms, finished our tour, and headed back down the mountain. Half walking, half falling down the slippery path. Once we reached the trucks we were bombarded by the people trying to sell us trinkets. They’re persistent, that’s for sure. After taking a group picture in front of the palace of the King who built the Citadel, we started the long truck ride back to Pignon.
The drivers wanted to make sure we crossed the river before the water levels got too high to go back through it. Yes, it was still raining. The bumpy, wet, and slightly painful ride back wasn’t too enjoyable, but we made the best of it. There were lots of laughs, delirious comments from being so tired, muddy pot holes driven through, kids waving, and beautiful scenery to help keep our minds off the weather and sore backs. We thought our ride was bad, but we passed many vehicles packed with three to four times the amount of people we had, plus food and luggage. It’s amazing really, and makes you realize how fortunate we are to have our own cars, with seat belts and padded seats, in America. On the way back we stopped to visit the Anderson’s sponsor child, Lannecie. She was overjoyed to see them and loved her new backpack full of goodies. You couldn’t wipe the smile off her cute face and her joy was contagious as the team’s spirits were boosted even though it was still raining and we were still freezing.
As soon as the trucks parked at the compound everyone was darting inside to warm showers, dry clothes, and an amazing meal. After being in constant rain for around twelve hours we can say we felt like true raisins. God shows his beauty in many ways, and today just happened to be through rainy showers. We are so excited to see what the rest of our stay here holds and continue to watch God’s hand at work in the people’s lives, as well as our own.
-Makenna & Jordan