Editors note: We split today into two groups and worked on two different projects, so this is an extra long post with lots of pictures from two worksites…. Enjoy!
It’s amazing to see how so many people, who know little to nothing about one another, can work together for a common goal. Yesterday, I was in the United States getting ready for take off in my fifth or sixth flight in my entire life. Today, myself and thirteen other people were in Haiti, working together to build homes for two Haitian families and it was an experience that I will never forget. Aside from the wonderful time that I had working with my teammates, and it was a wonderful experience, the most rewarding part of the day was interacting with so many Haitians. Children carried cinder blocks, that probably weighed more than they did, helped shovel gravel and begged for Polaroid pictures. Older Haitians, who received no pay for their work, simply picked up wheelbarrows and tore cinder blocks from our hands and carried them back for us! They were so helpful, caring and appreciative and it humbled me and shook me to my core.
Today opened my eyes to just how blessed I am to be born in a country like the United States.Simple things like clean water, safe shelter and even traffic laws are taken for granted so easily. Haitians drink and bathe in the water that they throw their trash in and so many complain because they have to drink tap water. Yet even with living conditions as bad as these, Haitians are so exuberant and cheerful. Just one day and already I have realized just how much God has blessed me and continues to each day of my life. This day has been one of the most wonderful of my life. I have never been happier to leave my comfort zone.
Sarah for the team
Jumping into a flatbed truck at 7 a.m. and slipping into the chaotic Haitian traffic is a fantastic way to start a morning! :) We had the opportunity to work along side a team from the University of Kentucky. Then we arrived at the job site and immediately went to work. We are working on a home that is almost completed, and it should be ready for the family by the end of the week. It’s exciting to know that this family will have a home in just a few days. Our tasks included removing the rubble that was alongside the house, finishing the roof, putting up the ceilings, and building trusses.
One of the best parts about today was getting to know and share stories with some of the Haitian people. Our new friends were more than happy to volunteer to work with us after watching us from the nearby wall that surrounded the home. Wilbur, who knew some English, was excited to teach us some Creole and in return we taught him some English. In talking he asked if we prayed to Jesus and asked for prayer for himself and his country. We were extremely grateful for the hard work of these men who joined us, and who rarely stopped except for a drink of water.
Although the day was long and strenuous, it was a rewarding feeling felt by all. We got to put our hammering skills to work, and those who were not so skilled were able to gain some practice. :) Working alongside the nationals was a great experience. It was wonderful to see that people from two completely different areas can come together and teach one another. We aren’t just here to help the people of Haiti without gaining something in return. Instead, they are returning the favor and sharing their lives and stories with us.
Jill and Abby for the team!