From the instant we arrived in Haiti it was obvious that the country is full of life as we arrived to the song of live, vibrant Haitian music as we stepped off the bus into the airport in Port au Prince. After finally receiving our baggage in the hectic airport we then embarked on a three hour drive though the countryside to arrive at Deschapelles. During the drive we passed many towns where everyone was walking or sitting on the sidewalk selling fruits, vegetables, and various goods. St. Marc was perhaps the busiest town on the way! We quickly realized that driving in Haiti is much different than in Canada. The speed limits are a little faster and drivers blow their horns when approaching another vehicle as a way to let others know they are about to pass. We had the opportunity to see some beautiful Haitian beaches along the way as well as beautiful beach homes. The majority of housing in Haiti, however, is not this way. Starting from Port au Prince, housing was the most obvious indicator of the poverty faced in this country. The most upsetting thing to see were the tent cities outside of Port au Prince.

Between airport and transport bus

Sharon Snow will be sad to know, we have yet to see Sean Penn!

Our first full day in the compound was a warm, unforgettable experience that made us feel very welcomed. When we arrived we were welcomed by the children singing. They ran to hug us as we got off the bus. There was so much love and affection, it was so inviting. We all fell in love with all of the children right away. Then Karen gave us a tour and we ate delicious Haitian soup made by the excellent Haitian staff. We certainly won’t be going hungry this week.

Jennifer happy to see Sandra again

 

Unloaded all the goodies from the bus.  Now what?

 

Choosing a tent on a nice ‘dry’ floor

The kids were gone to bed for the night while we settled in and went to bed early, We were excited to see the children as soon as they woke up. At night we could hear cows, crickets, and birds from all over! We slept outside in a row and the four of us were out like a light. We woke up to roosters and later the distinct sound of a rice mill. We got ready, had some amazing coffee grown in Haiti, and headed to devotions. The children were there and wide awake! Along with prayer there was a tons of singing, clapping, and dancing. What a way to wake up!

Warm welcome for the team

 

Devotions on first day of workteam

~Brittany, Melissa, Robyn & Julie