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Haiti Mission Trip Day #5
Report from Day 5:No pictures again tonight, they take too long to upload and it is late. I will try to do some tomorrow!
This morning we woke up to a breakfast of hot dogs, hard boiled eggs, toast with butter, peanut butter, and jelly.
Then we were off again to the school site to keep building. We moved more bricks today. We layed them down inside the foundation along the walls. Today we had more of an assembly line going, it was fun to team up and hang out more while we worked. We tried to fill the foundation in by tossing some rocks into the classrooms. Ron rigged up a ramp out of the gravel, so he could wheel in a barrel of fill at a time.
The first day that we were at the school, the workers were pretty quiet. Today there was a nice rhythm. We would start laughing together over some joke, then five minutes later the Haitian workers would start laughing over something in Creole. Some women walked up to the work site with plates of rice and beans on their head, and some of the group members chipped in to buy the workers some lunch.
Nzunga took us back to the compound for our lunch. Mama Jo had made us pizza with lots of dfferent meats, vegetables, and spicy sauces. The crust was thick, it tasted like biscuit dough.
After lunch Nzunga decided he had tired us out enough, and gave everyone who needed it the afternoon to rest. Keith, Ron, and Pharez decided to brave teaching at the school. Pharez was impressed with the level of math the students were learning. Keith and Pharez wanted to talk to the students about the States in a way that helped them romanticize it less. They all want so badly to go to the U.S., but their concept of what life is like in the States might set them up for disappointment.
Meanwhile, Angeline got behind the wheel in Haiti! She drove us up a steep and bumpy cliff, her first time using four wheel drive. Then she drove around town, through the back alleys, and through the thick traffic. She did very well.
When we went to the school to pick up the folks teaching, we all were invited to the chapel for the President of the school’s birthday celebration. We sang Happy Birthday to him in English. The student teachers sang a “Bienvenue” (welcome) song to us, then sang their alma mater, and were singing Happy Birthday in French to the President as we left. While we were there, they had a question and answer session with us. Since they knew we were building a school, they asked if some of the student teachers could be hired for the school. They also wanted to know what we could do to help the student teachers, because 40 students are graduating, and each one needs $200 to pay off the final fees to get their degree. Nzunga warned us at the beginning of the week not to promise anything in these instances, because as soon as a missionary says we will raise money for you, the people being promised money are at Nzunga’s door in a week, asking where is this money.
Angeline drove us through the city, over the bridge, all the way home to the compound. We have started making better friends with our brothers and sisters at the compound. We grilled Mano the other night about his job as Secretary General of the Haitian Baptist Convention, and what life was like in Haiti. The children, Elvane and Kenson, are interacting more with us too. Elvane and Toni listened to music together, and Kenson let Judy look at his school books. The two children and the guard sat on the step with me for a while, filling up two pages of my notebook. We’re trading, English words for Creole and French words. The most important phrase to know in Creole, “Mwen pa konnen.” (I don’t know.)
Our nightly reflection was more inward tonight. Keith had us take the time to do an affirmation circle, and put up each group member. It was a nice experience to focus on how many gifts there are within our group.
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