Well we’ve all had our first morning wake up call in Haiti. We arrived safe and sound after a long day of travel capped off by a three hour drive to Dechapelles. The sights and sounds and smells of the trip were unforgettable eye openers for the new people in the group and for the repeat missionaries. It was saddening how little things have changed since the devastation of the earthquake nine months ago.
When we arrived and unloaded the 33 suitcases filled with generous donations from all of you, we got to meet the kids who were all waiting patiently to get the first hugs from the vanillas. After the first taste of the wonderful food we all found our beds and settled in for an early night.
We have a group of 15 people, with 12 from Nova Scotia, 2 from Newfoundland much to Karen’s delight (1 via Elliot Lake, ON ), and one from Nunavut.
Today was spent acclimatizing ourselves to the HATS compound, and the heat! Some of the group spent some time opening and sorting all of the donations that were sent. What a huge and varied amount of clothing, medicines, bedding, school supplies, and toys for the kids. Karen was thrilled with the amount of donations, and she will identify the needs for the school and for the kids, and distribute it as required. Some of the smaller jobs that got done today were installing a new washing machine, cleaning up old batteries , and installing two much needed air conditioner. After a day of Karen taking it easy on us, tomorrow we face the work full on!
One of the big treats today for all of us was a tour of the school grounds and a visit with the kids recess time! Not sure who had the most fun!!
We will be featuring each person in our group over the next two weeks of our mission. Today, we’ll put the spotlight on our teacher and our student.
Kristopher Dugas is 16 years old student in Grade 10 from the Weymouth area of Nova Scotia. He is the sound guy at the Emmanuel Baptist Church in Comeauville. He’s taken two weeks off school to help with the building of the perimeter wall of the school, and since it is his first trip south, he will have a lot to tell his fellow students about when he returns.
Rollie Herritt Is a retired teacher who marvels at all the work Karen is doing. It’s his first trip to Haiti but he has been thinking about HATS for quite some time. His organization “Every Child Counts…Every Student Matters” is sponsoring 21 of the 301 children in the school this year!!! A one year sponsorship will supply the tuition, books and uniform for a student as well as contribute to the salary and food costs – every child in schools get a delicious and nutritious lunch every day. Rollie will definitely have lots of stories to share when he returns home because his video camera is almost always in his hands.
So stay tuned for more updates in the days ahead. We will be hard at work to make sure we help all the local workers get some jobs done.
Thank you and God Bless you all for all your love and support in our mission.