Maren Taylor, from Spencer, IA, shares the team’s jam-packed day pouring concrete floors and visiting a local orphanage.

Bonsoir! (Good Evening)

We had another early morning with a 6:30am breakfast call. We left at 7am to go to three homes to pour cement floors. On our way there, the roads were very bumpy in the tap-tap trucks. I quickly realized how friendly people are, especially the kids. We waved and said “bonjour!” (good morning) to the Haitians we passed. It was cool to see the women carrying things on their heads, such as clothes and water, and also to see how donkeys are used to haul baskets of various items, such as laundry.

When we arrived at the first house, the Haitians workers were dumping sand to use at the first house. We split up into 3 teams of 6 so we could pour all of the cement floors before lunch. At the house I was at we had 4 rooms to pour cement in. The women that lived in the house were washing their clothes and other household items out behind the house; sort of like spring cleaning.

Inside the house before the concrete

The workers mixed sand, water, rocks, and the cement mix together on the ground. They first put the sand, then the rocks, and then the cement mix in a layered pile. Next, they piled this mixture up to make a hole to pour the water into to mix everything together. This made me realize how hard this process is in Haiti. They don’t have cement truck or cement mixers that do it for them.

The house our team worked on

After the cement was mixed up and ready to go, the work began. The workers shoveled the cement into buckets and the 6 of us passed the buckets in an assembly line to the men in the room that were pouring the cement on the floor and leveling it out. It was really cool to see how we could make an impact by just simply passing buckets.

Bucket brigade into the house Getting muddy and dirty

The cement floors are so important. The dirt floor the families originally had have all kinds of organisms that make people sick and the cement floors help protect them from these illnesses. This made me realize that they can’t run to Hy-vee or Walmart to get medicine. Their healthcare is not good at all here so the cement floors are very important to the health of the families that live in the homes.

We got to talk with some of the other people just walking on the street and play with kids as well. I thought it was also cool to see that we could make an impact by just talking to people and loving on the kids. We passed out toy cars and hand-propelled helicopters. We showed them how to use the helicopters which was a lot of fun.

Next after we were done with all 3 floors, we went to the market. At the market we bought rice, spaghetti, and oil to be passed out to families next week. After loading both trucks with the food, we came back to the compound and had lunch.

Travelling on the road Haitian style

After lunch we went to Pastor Francois’s orphanage. We played with the kids, gave them snacks, and shopped at the store there. We painted their nails, jumped rope, and played futbol (soccer) with the kids. I played futbol with them and they are so good. We just passed the ball back and forth in a circle but they kicked behind them and all other sorts of fancy ways. They were so intrigued by our cell phones and wanted to take pictures, like a LOT of pictures. By the end most were engulfed with their fascination of technology.

Visiting the orphanage

Visiting the orphanage

Jump rope with the kids at the orphanage

Tasha getting photos with some of the smiling kids! Katelyn holding a precious little one

I love kids so it was really fun playing with them and talking with them. They all want to know our names and are so sweet. Many of the kids wanted to sit on our laps or hold our hands. I really liked going to the orphanage and I think I can speak for most of the group and say they enjoyed it too. Before we left, we gave the kids cookies and pop.

We came back to the compound and hung out. We had a lady come in to do our nails and another lady to cornrow our hair if we wanted. Now if you know me, you know how hot my hair is. If you don’t know me, I have a TON of hair so the cornrows feel ten times cooler.

Manicures and pedicures! Getting cornrows is time consuming All done!

Not long after the ladies came around, the afternoon rain rolled in around 4:30pm. It poured and poured and poured some more. As I write this it is 10:45pm, and still raining. So, we stayed at the compound and played games. We had supper and devotion time and then played more games until bed.

It has been so cool to see that the Haitians are so happy with little to nothing and we Americans are always wanting more. This has made me really think about my life and how I can change that. I’m not saying go out and sell everything but to just be happy and not “need” the newest phone the second it comes out. God has blessed us with the country we live in so we should enjoy what we have instead of being unhappy with what we don’t have.

So that’s what is going on here. Thank you for all of your prayers. Bondye Bon! (God is good). Bonsoir! (Good night).