Thurs Feb 1 Update from Haiti
We had a nice breakfast this morning--every breakfast is good; we cook for ourselves in the morning and, aside from cold cereal on Monday, we've had cowboy omelets made with fresh onions we bought on our community walk, pancakes, fresh bananas and pineapple, fried eggs and fried potatoes--fixed by whichever members of the team are up first and willing to jump in on the cooking.
After team devotions, we went to the work site where we spent the first few hours finishing the steel work we could do--apparently there is no 3/4" rebar in Cap-Haïtien at the moment--and then began work on a new shed at the corner of the property. When we visited the work site on Sunday, a crew was tearing down an existing shed because it was in the way of the dining hall site.
But a shed is still needed, so we built a new one--almost. We got everything done but the roofing tin and the door.
We split up and had lunch at various homes that are part of the children's village. Kim, Rick and I went to the home that we call the third house--it is the first one that Lawrence teams helped build. When the house mom was told that, she grabbed each one of us in turn and gave us a kiss on the cheek, beaming with gratitude and saying things in Creole that I didn't fully understand, but I did hear the word "Bondye" several times, which is one of the ways Haitians refer to God. (I think she was thanking us and praising God for his kindness.)
She fixed us a wonderful (and beautifully presented) meal of chicken, fried plantains (or possibly bananas), rice and beans, and a salad with carrots, tomatoes, peas, beets, and lettuce, plus a fruit juice made with limes and grenadines. With John (our team host) as our translator, we learned that the house mom had taken a culinary arts course--the food was very good. We also learned that Adam, the house dad, is a tailor, and made 100 pairs of gym shorts for the kids. We had seen many kids wearing them earlier that morning. We also enjoyed meeting the children who ate with us--the older ones were at other schools.
Looking back over the week, we really accomplished a lot. Other teams will come this year, and Haitian crews will work in the meantime. One day we hope to see kids having lunch in the cafeteria that we started.
Tonight we will hear from John, our Haitian team host, about child sponsorship. Tomorrow we'll be taken to the other side of the mountains to the beach for a few hours of R&R; then in the afternoon we'll go back to the school one last time for the weekly chapel service that the kids prepare.
Larry and Kevan will be returning home a day early so Larry can be a pallbearer at Sherry Schaub's funeral. Kenna painted a sign and we all posed with it for pictures in front of the school. The sign said, "in [heart] memory of Sherry Schaub".
On Saturday we'll head for the airport and begin our long trek home back to colder weather, warmer showers, and the ones we love. We are grateful to our families for supporting us on these trips to Haiti--we know it's harder when we're gone. And, we're grateful for you who pray for us and we look forward to telling you the stories of our trip.
It has been really wonderful--the work went well, we worked hard and got a lot done, and we couldn't have asked for better weather.
Please keep praying for our health and safety as we travel homeward, and please keep praying for Haiti--good things are happening here.
Blessings and gratitude,
Doug, on behalf of the team
Reminder: Photos are up on the Lawrence Free Methodist Church Facebook page.