Evergreen Association of American Baptist Churches @2017

Evergreen Association

Of America Baptist Churches

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409 Third Ave S, Suite A

Kent, WA  98032-5843

Haiti Mission Trip Day #4

This morning we had french toast with butter, peanut butter, jelly, some oatmeal, and pineapple.  Once it was time to go, we spread out a bit today.  Although it has been great to get to know all the different group members, it was a nice opportunity to all be in our own space today, instead of clumped together as 10 Americans, which makes us an impenetrable site.

We went to the hospital in the morning.  Mary stayed and worked with the nurses.  She was impressed at their procedures and record keeping, even without computers to store patient files.

Judy wasn’t planning on staying at the hospital, but when we visited the Rehabilitation Center for children with disabilities, she said she was at home.  She worked with a group of kids between the ages of 5-11.  She had time with every child this morning.  There was one boy who took her hands and was dancing with Judy.  Suddenly she found herself dancing in a circle with six children at once.

Some of the nurses and staff at the hospital spoke English, but some spoke only Creole.  Mary and Judy had some fun doing sign language and non-verbal communication today, but said they got along fine.

Next we went to the site where the school was being built.  Ron, Michael, and Keith stayed there to keep helping to build it.  They were mostly chucking rocks around, to level out the fill in the foundation.

We were down to five, so Nzunga said we would just take the one truck.  I asked if  could ride in the back, because we are in a free country after all.  Nzunga said yes, and Angeline jumped in the back with me.  We definitely got some stares, but by the second ride through town, most people seemed to be used to us.  Angeline got even bolder, and decided she was ready to try driving in Haiti.  Not enough people were willing to ride with her driving, but I’m hoping by tomorrow we’ll see her behind the wheel!

When the five of us got to the school, they put each of us in a classroom.  The teachers just left most of the classrooms when we walked in, and we were expected to teach the class for the next 30-40 minutes.  The kids asked us to sing for them, why our hair was long, if we knew spanish, what we thought of their classrooms, where we were from, what we were doing here.  When Pharez talked about being a missionary, she got some honest remarks from the students in her classroom.  They said they liked that we were here and helping, but sometimes they felt the white man would come into their country and nothing would really change, things wouldn’t really get better.  This reminds me of Ron’s statement to us on our first night, our real work begins when we get home.

Clem was in a classroom with juniors.  She asked them what they needed from their education.  At first they all asked her to get them to the States, to get them out of Haiti.  Clem told them she didn’t want to talk to them about what they needed individually, but instead she wanted them to move to more collective thinking.  Despite the languate barrier, she got her point across, and they said they wanted computers and to learn English.

 

We all met up at the compound for lunch to share our different mornings.  We had fish and onion sandwiches for lunch, and the breadfruit and sweet potatoes Nzunga bought yesterday.  The breadfruit taste like a thick potato chip.

We went to the eye clinic and gave away the hundreds of eyeglasses Judy collected, packed, and brought with her.  We also got to see the generator that the Evergreen Association helped pay for so if the state power goes out during surgery, the patient will remain safe.  During our nightly reflection, Michael commented that it was good to get out today and see all the things American Baptist Churches has been supporting in Haiti, to have a deeper understanding of where those offerings go.

 We all went to the touristic market of Cap Haitien.  We walked up and down the row, trying our hand at bartering for artwork, T-shirts, bracelets, figurines, and more.  Clem found a beautiful red dress and elegant giraffe.  Keith found a figurine of Jesus, and says he has been collecting ones from different cultures.  Mary found a beautiful bag that is the perfect carry-on for the plane ride home.  Pharez was quite the barterer.  Often she would leave the same shop as another group member, and she would have either bought the same merchandise for less, or left with more for the same price.  No one could top Toni though.  She bartered an old woman right up to the point of us getting in the van.

We got back to the compound and had a delicious dinner of rice and beans, meat with sauce, pasta casserole, a spinach like vegetable and tomatoes, and pie crust with fruit spread on top for dessert.

 Ron remarked that he felt a lot of energy this afternoon, that the high point of our trip so far was today.

 Pictures will come tomorrow night!