Team Texas started the day with some renovations to the main house on the compound. Ti Luc’s room was cleared out, cleaned and got a fresh coat of “Ti Luc Blue” paint. While Julie, Morgan, Claire, Joanna and Kyle worked on Ti Luc’s room, David, Milford and Brooks were hard at work demolishing Karen’s bathroom. They reassured Karen that they covered the big hole in the wall, so she no longer has to fear having nocturnal visitors in her room. To the delight of the rest of Team Texas, Milford and David were able to work quickly enough to get the hot water hooked back up in time for evening showers. On a normal day in Haiti, most would be fine with a cold shower, but we have been blessed with unseasonably “cool” weather, only in the mid 80s!
|Milford starting on bathroom repairs|
|The wood that was actually holding the bath tub|
|New base for bathtup. No wood this time|
|Let’s get the corners first|
|Ti Luc’s room looking soooo much better|
After a hard day’s work, the team geared up for soccer – boys versus girls (including our best girls, Milford, Keith and Brooks). The game was a landslide in the boys favor, but the girls put up a good fight, with Keith being a supreme goalie and Brooks scoring two goals bring the final score to 9-2.
|Okay Brooks. Do your thing|
|Go Morgan go|
The night ended with a game of dominoes between Joanna, Morgan, Claire, Kyle, Karen and Joan. Between the three younger girls, we had our hands full helping our sleepy competitors match their tiles. It soon became clear that our need for sleep was stronger than our will to play, so we will be continuing the game throughout the weekend.
Saturday, Feb 21st
David and Milford are continuing to work hard on Karen’s bathroom, returning her bathtub to its place. The rest of the team moved outside for the day, painting another luscious coat of Tempting Teal to the columns and trim of Karen’s home. Brooks, with the help of Moise and JJ, put his steady hand to the task of painting a Texas Flag on the new basketball goal to go along side the Haitian and Canadian flags. What is Team Texas, if we do not leave our mark on everything? The Texas team maybe shut out of a soccer match but we are hungry for a rematch on the basketball court.
|Morgan painting from a small ledge. Her dad watching from below|
|Touch up painting|
|Canada, Haiti and Texas – let’s play basketball|
Just before noon the team took a break from painting and the girls went with Milford and Karen to go visit the market in Verrette. It was quite an experience and sensory overload. Julie made the comment that it was their Walmart equivalent. She was right. Anything and everything could be purchased, from clothes to produce to charcoal. As we passed through the market, there were many comments being thrown our direction, the most common being “etranje”. Karen explained once we got back to the truck, that they were saying “There go 4 strangers (etranje), Madame Karen and one Haitian”. She began to laugh and said “My plan worked perfectly! They all believed Milford was my Haitian body guard!”
|Five team members went to the market|
Though we shared some laughs about Milford’s new found power, being mistaken as a Haitian police man, this experience has further solidified our belief in Karen’s amazing work. Seeing the market was to see real life in Haiti. Every day, these people pack up their wares and take them to market, set them out in a space no larger than 16 sq ft, and hope to sell their wares, when in reality, they have three people next to them with the same product for sale, only to pack most of it up to return home. Karen explained that the hope is to sell a little of whatever they have in order to buy rice to feed their family. It is truly an overwhelming experience. What Karen is doing, and providing through sponsors to these kids here at HATS, is to give them life. These children, through the grace of God and the vessel he has used through Karen, receive nourishment in its basic form, but even more of a miracle is nourishment of their spirit. It is humbling to work with such an organization and woman of God in Karen. May God continue to bless Karen in health, wealth and happiness so that she may continue to pour that out into this community.
~Joanna, Claire and Morgan