Monday, September 15, 2014

Final Team Journal

Team Journal 10 
By Jacob D. 

August 21 
The final morning in Haiti passed by much too quickly. At around 7:00 a.m. several members of our team headed out with Will to pick up fresh fruit. They came back loaded with mangoes, bananas and watermelon. We quickly cut the fruit up and shortly after were heading to a nearby orphanage with our faithful taxi driver. 

Upon arrival we were surrounded by a swarm of excited children. Within seconds every one of us had a child on our shoulders with more looking up at us with pleading eyes. After seating the children we prepared plates of fruit and began handing them out. The happy look on the children’s faces as they savoured each piece of the fruit made all the effort worth it.  As soon as they were done eating, the children hopped off their seats and ran over to us for more playtime. 

Shorty afterwards it was time to move on to the special needs building just a few steps away from the main orphanage. Inside we could not but feel an overwhelming helplessness and pity for the children confined to their wheelchairs. Here again we prepared plates of fruit for the 27 children. It was heartwarming to see the children respond to us while we were there. 

At 11 o’clock it was time to head to the airport. After waving our final goodbyes to the children, we headed out. It was soon after this that we encountered a very steep hill that our taxi driver had been initially hesitant to descend. After two unsuccessful runs at this hill, we all hopped out and pushed while our driver made a third try to scale the hill. This time we successfully spun over the crest much to our drivers relief. 

On the way to the airport, we met up with Jason to say our final goodbyes to him. The trip back went smoothly, and we arrived home in Chilliwack at 3 a.m. the following morning. 

As a team we can’t thank Jason and Will enough for hosting us in Haiti and making all the arrangements for our stay. We really appreciated the time both of them took to show us around Port-Au-Prince, and all the interesting and informative discussions we had. Everything went so smoothly, and the experience was one that none of us will ever forget. 

I have often heard people argue that helping out in third world countries is pointless, as the people are simply lazy and don’t try to work. I urge anyone with that opinion to see for themselves. The people of Haiti are in no way lazy, but instead are some of the hardiest and happiest people I have ever met. They are stuck in a difficult situation where the living standards are low, and 1% of the population owns 90% of the wealth. 

Most Haitians work full days, from sunup to sundown selling food and wares on the streets, caring for their livestock, or transporting water. They are thankful with the smallest gifts. I don’t think any of us will quickly forget the joy of the people we distributed food to in Anse Rouge. To hear a 74 year old blind Haitian thank us in song while her family surrounded us with warm appreciation was unforgettable. 

Thanks again, Jason and Will, for the opportunity to allow us to see how fortunate we are in North America and for opening our eyes to the needs of others. We will never forget it. 

 Some Pictures at the Orphanage.

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