by Miranda Nikkel, Pella Christian winterim trip participant

It’s only the second day here, but I think I’m already getting used to some of the changes. It’s nice to not have to worry about make-up, and cold showers are actually nice (especially on the sunburn I got today). It’s amazing to see all of the children, waving to them as they come running yelling, “BLANC! BLANC!” I love when they come up to you and grab your hand like they know you. The people we are staying with are great, and the food is good too!

We climbed Mt. Pignon this morning before the sun came up and got to the top right as the sun rose. Even though some parts of the climb were challenging, it was rewarding to see the beautiful view once we got to the top. The walk/slide down was pretty fun too.

Once we got done with our hike, we went through the city, down to the river to watch wash day, and then to the market, but not without picking up some children on the way. Some remembered us from the day before and some just saw us and came running. It was amazing to see all of the women washing their clothes and all of the children who washed our legs off for us in the water.

DSCN6353Some Pella Christian students wash off their legs in the river, accompanied by many adoring Haitian children. 

The market was another story. It was overwhelming and chaotic, and even though I say that, it was such an experience to see all of the meat and shoes and bags of juice lying on the ground waiting to be bought. It’s amazing how hard these people work to earn just a little bit of money.

We came back to the compound to have lunch and then went off to help a family pour cement floors. We gave gifts to some of the families that we saw as we walked down the street. It was inspiring and heart breaking to see the gratitude of the people when they received things such as soap and toy trucks.

Overall, it was a beautiful day, from the weather to the experiences, but it was also a trying day for my emotions. I struggled as I thought about my home and how much I have and then compared it to how they have nothing. It really gives me a change in perspective, and I praise God for giving me this opportunity to share His love with these people. He’s definitely teaching me to get out of my comfort zone. It’s been an amazing two days, and I can’t wait for the rest of this trip!

Another perspective on day 2 in Haiti 

by Addison Van Weelden, Pella Christian winterim trip participant

Today is day two, and it turned out to be better than the first day. We got up early once again in order to climb up Mt. Pignon. The ride over was cool, because it was so early, but it was great because it was still so much warmer than it is back home. The climb up was very fun and somewhat challenging, but the view from the top was completely worth it. We sung some songs up there, and it was so peaceful looking out over God’s creation as the sun came up. The trip down was better than the way up, but there was a lot of slipping and sliding.

The team took a break from climbing to take a picture. 

We went back into town and were instantly surrounded by children. It is still crazy to see how fast we can gather a crowd. They all followed us to the river where we saw all the women washing their clothes and other people washing trucks and themselves. It was sad to see people drinking that water, because it was really dirty and definitely not sanitary. We also got to tour a rum factory, and it was one of the worst things that I have ever smelled.

After the river, we went to the market. I have never been so crowed in my life, and it didn’t help that I also had to navigate the two children that were hanging onto my hands. It was crazy to see all of the shoes, soap, hair ties, and food (including the meat). It was very different from going to Wal-Mart. Seeing all the people who come to sell their merchandise to make a living was crazy.

After lunch, we helped pour concrete in a house, and we really learned that many hands make light work. The buckets were heavy, but by creating a fire line, we were able to get it done in no time. Through that, we also saw the love that the people of Haiti have for their families. The father had so much pride in his children, and they helped with the concrete as well. Once we were finished, we handed out toy trucks, dolls, and soap to people. I was sad to realize that they were so excited to get these little things when we have so much, and that we could not give everyone something. It was sad to see that.

Today was a great day. I learned a lot, had a lot of fun interacting with all the people, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the week will bring.

To read Abby and Amee Pleima’s account of day 1 in Haiti, click here.