Today has been so much fun and the only word to describe it would be ADVENTURE!
We woke up and headed to ESL. Jill taught again today. She did awesome. I’m still astonished at the Haitians personal motivation to learn English. ESL is at 6:30 AM. I would never voluntarily go to any class that early.
After ESL we had our same wonderful breakfast! Today I volunteerd to do gardening in the mountains- Paraison. Our group included me, Hilary, Becky, Jill, Chandis, Big Junior and litt Junoir. Big Junior doesn’t speak much English, he owns and drives his own moto and he is an amazing gardener. Little Junior is 17 years old and he speaks English really well!
We started our journey with a moto ride. I was with Becky. She is the funnest to ride on a moto with. The poor Haitian drivers probably think we are crazy because we just laugh at everything! Everything is funnier on a moto.
We rode the motos to a tap tap stop. Tap taps are trucks with benches on the sides of the bed and a covering over it all. Not very safe at all. But luckily we got there just in time to get on a “bus” or should I say get herded on a “bus”.
A bus in Haiti is known as a mini-van in the states. Usually meant to hold maybe 10. Our particular “bus” had 17 people. 17 is a big number. Chandis, Hilary, and little Junior were in the front seat with the driver and Becky and I were in the next row- Jam-packed. (Jill and Big Junoir rode Junoir’s Moto with the tools.)
There was a poor lady behind us that threw up during the drive. The overall smell of the vehicle was indescribable. We are such silly American girls that couldn't help but giggle the whole time. But this ride was pretty ridiculous. 45 minutes of crazy driving, steep roads and a huge cliff to the side of us. Giggling was a mask to cover our fear and excitement of the unknown. We tried taking pictures but it doesn’t do it justice. As we went up the super windy mountains, we could start to see the prettiest view of Haiti. It truly is a Beautiful place!
Inside the "bus"
When we reached our destination there were no houses, so we walked up the mountain. Yes, up a mountain. I am so grateful for my Tevas!! We helped a man plant a garden in plantar buckets around his house. We gathered different dirt and sand to make the best soil and then planted the seeds. We waited for a while because the Haitian man was going to take us to another garden but he couldn’t take us until his wife got back because he was watching his baby. This was the cutest black baby I have ever seen. He was two months old and so precious!!
Jill with the precious little baby!
After a while we trekked down a mountain- it was such a steep mountain! Chandis and Becky fell a few times and got pretty scratched up. We eventually came to a garden and we planted seeds and watered it, then we did the same to a few more gardens. I learned that many Haitians know how to garden, but seeds are so expensive that they can’t do it themselves.
One of the best parts of the day was playing with the local children! when we finished a garden, the kids would come up to us. Especially jill. She is like the Haitian baby whisperer.
While doing gardens:
Becky, Jill, Hilary, me, Chandis and Haitian Kiddies!
Me, Jill, (little) Junoir, HIlary, Chandis
Hilary, Chandis, Jill, Becky
Becky, Jill and Paraison Kids!
Paraison was mesmerizing! The mountains were beautiful and the air wasn’t as humid as it was in the crowded streets of Leogane. It was such a breath of fresh air- literally.
We eventually wandered back to the first house we helped. Big Junior made us lunch! We had sandwiches: Thick bread, spamish-perperoni, onions and scrambled eggs with ketchup spread all over! It was surprisingly good. I must’ve been starving. Haha
We relaxed and hung out while we drank soda to stay cool. Eventually it was time to go so we went down the hill to the road to find a ride. Yes, find a ride. We were hoping for a tap-tap or bus to drive by that was going down the mountain. We waited for a while and then it started to sprinkle. And then it started to rain. [Side note- Haitians are terrified of the rain. They think it makes people sick and so they fear it and hide from it].
Waiting for a ride before the rain.
We are drinking from purified water bags.
There were a few local Haitians selling water and soda by the road let us cram in a make shift shelter with them. Literally smaller then a tool shed.
Inside the tool shed hiding form the rain
Katie, Hilary, Junoir, Becky, jill, Chandis
I got claustrophobic really fast so I waited in the rain for a tap-tap or bus to drive by. Finally, one came. Amazingly enough, this tap-tap had white people from Georgia and Tennessee who were in Haiti with a Baptist service group. They were shocked that 4 American girls were hitch hiking in Haiti. (Junior somehow got on the other tap-tap that was also filled with white Baptists). We probably seemed so dumb as we just laughed at the whole situation. They asked us where we were staying and we literally had no idea of the address or major areas around our house. I later realized how bad of a situation that could’ve been. Heavenly Father was definitely watching over us to deliver a tap-tap full of kind religious people.
When we got to town the Baptists dropped us off at the tap-tap stop where we got on the back of motos and rode towards home following Junior and Jill on their moto. On our way home, Becky and I were together, our motto driver almost got in a head on collision. We screeched to a stop literally a foot between us and another angry moto driver. We don’t have helmets on the moto. We could’ve been so hurt! When we were finally home, Becky and I could just giggle because we were so shocked and scared. Haha. Still don’t really know how to handle it.
Because I seem to want to write a novel each night, I started writing in my journal before ESL until my eyes drifted and I couldn’t stay awake. When I woke up it was time for ESL. I love teaching English! Gart and I co-taught but I hope to teach by myself eventually.
During our walk back to the house form the school, a Haitian in a puma shirt (Adam always wears puma stuff…) walked me home. His name is John and his English is great! I think I’m starting to think black men are oober attractive. Haha. *Reminder- tell Adam I love him!
We came home, ate dinner and then I took a shower. When I got out I was told that we aren’t supposed to take real showers just in case the power goes out so we can conserve the running water for hand washing and the toilets. When the power is on the water tank can fill up, the water tank can last 2 days without being refilled, but sometimes the pump doesn’t fill up when the power is on so we have to save it as much as possible. I misunderstood this the first few days, but they made it clear tonight.
So that was my last real shower till I return to the states. I am honestly really sad about this. Running water for showers was my most favorite luxury besides my battery powered fan. Oh well. I guess when in Haiti, do as the Haitians do! Bucket showers, Bring it on.
I am feeling a lot less overwhelmed. I like when we can stay busy but I get frustrated when the American volunteers are hesitant to just jump in and work. I really need to work on my patience.
I miss Adam like crazy. I can’t wait to hold his hand and talk about his experiences in the Philippines compared to my experiences here. I think it will be a good bonding thing for us! I hope he isn’t worried about me. I hope my family isn’t worried either. I hope Heavenly Father is comforting them.
I feel Heavenly Fathers strength each day. If this is what a mission feels like then I understand why guys don’t want to come home. Home… that feels like a far away dream. A strange unreal dream that seems so complicated compared to Haitian life.
- SwoobàSweaty boobs
- Granolaà a person who is all natural. Doesn’t usually shower and probably wears our doorsie clothing. (Ie. I feel like a granola while I’m in Haiti.
- Have you ever tried to explain the word “utterly”? Ya. That happened in ESL today.
- Baptists asked where we live and we honestly had no idea. Embarrassing.