Emily Vos from Third Church Team recalls the group’s last day in Haiti. Emily has learned many things from the trip while working with her team on the grounds, giving goats, planting corn, painting, and playing soccer.

 I wake up to the shouting of the construction workers at 6:00 am every morning because they strategically place themselves right outside our window. If not that, multiple roosters, barking of dogs, and other various animal noises decide that 4:30 am is a great time to make as much noise as possible. Besides that fiasco, the days are great!

We started off the day working in the plantain fields and transplanting trees from one side of the compound to the other. We did this to make room for corn that my fellow group members would plant in the afternoon.

The team transplanting plantain trees The team working in the plantain field Team member with Tipay

Since Haiti is in its rainy season, rain seems to occur about every night; when I say rain I mean pour. This becomes a problem when you have to work in the plantain field the following morning. Mud cakes all of our shoes, legs, hands, and clothing. Picking up the trees that were soon to be transplanted and bringing them to the holes we were digging caused the angry fire ants living in the trees to come out and bite us mercilessly. That was a fun experience. Later, we were handed machetes and told to follow Claudin, the agronomist for MH. We were lead to a field of beans and peanut plants. We used the machetes to mound up dirt around the peanuts creating “little mountains” surrounding the plants, however I don’t know why we were doing this.

The team working in the peanut field

After we were done with this particularly sweaty task, we ate lunch. Then, the majority of us took much needed naps. After waking up, we got to do one of the things I was personally most excited to do, goat distribution (goats are awesome)!

The team walking a goat

The first goat was taken to a house near the compound. We named it Frannie, and she was given to a family of 6 people. All goats given to families are pregnant females; instead of giving one gift, we are giving multiple! The second goat was given to a family with a 5-year-old girl named Elinise who has cerebral palsy. A MH supporter named Katelyn Kime, also from Pella, sponsors this girl. Her money pays for medication and daily food.

The team with Elinise, her family, and their goat!

After having so many charming goats, of course one was troublesome, as they are always stubborn (especially when they have been in back of a truck for a while). This one was fond of licking Vicki’s leg, even though Vicki didn’t exactly appreciate it. The goat (we named it Katelyn) didn’t want to walk down the path, and instead of walking the goat to the family; we basically had to drag it.

The last thing our group did this afternoon was plant corn. Instead of doing this with the rest of the group, Cecily and I were asked to paint a bible verse above the door of the house that we painted last Monday. We had the family choose the verse they wanted, which ended up being Psalm 91.

Team members painting 91 sòm, or Psalm 91 in Creole!

Through google translate (it was in Creole) we found its meaning, “under the shadow of God.” While painting it, we had a crowd of about 15 spectators, both adults and children. It was quite difficult to get anything done because there were multiple children poking my leg shouting “Blanc, blanc!!” attempting to get my attention. Side note: Blanc means white. This is a common thing for us to hear no matter where we go.

A couple team members and children posing with the finished painting The neighbor kids made fast friends with our team members

Children wave energetically shouting it to us down the streets as we drive past. Hearing this, I would look down and see a kid, cheeks puffed out staring at me. They were waiting for me to lean down and poke them so the air rushes out and makes a noise. This went on for a good 20 minutes (I’m not complaining, they were adorable).

The neighbor kids playing

We walked back to the compound and straight into a soccer game that the neighborhood kids were playing. Of course, right in the middle of this game were Kenedy and Woodson, our new friends that work as translators for MH, easily beating 15+ kids on their own. Soon the game was over, and Kenedu came over to me soaked in sweat, took off the shoes he was wearing to play soccer, and gave them to me. I noticed that they were my shoes, and he was not wearing socks. Slightly gross. Then the 2 came inside, and we had worship time, which was held on the top of the new long term staff housing building on the compound still under construction.

The team doing nightly devotions

The timing was perfect because the sun just starting to set. This was the moment where it really hit me; today was our last full day in Haiti.

As I am sitting here, typing this on Christi’s iPad, there are a few things that I want to share with you about my experience.

1. All of us could use a little Haitian spirit in us. They are so content with what they have. They have so little, but they have so much at the same time.
2. If you ever go to Haiti, don’t have any expectations for what your trip will be like. Chances are it will be very different than you think.
3. Craig is a card trick wizard and makes amazing popcorn while Christi is great at riding the unicycle.
4. Language “barriers” aren’t as much of a barrier as you would think.
5. Haiti isn’t just a country filled with poverty and sorrow. It is a picture perfect place with the most amazing sun rises and sun sets.
6. Though the food here is amazing, it might not agree with your bowels, causing problems.
7. God is good. He loves you, provides for you, and is always with you.

-Emily Vos