Dear friends of HATS-Haiti, the team arrived on Mon. May 23 and it was a smooth landing compared to the usual experience at the airport in Port-au-Prince. Karen jumped up and down from the other side of the customs barrier to greet us. We made the drive safely to the orphanage where a line of smiling children stood in the rain to greet us. What an unforgettable welcome.
We awoke early on our first day, Tuesday, at 4:30 a.m., after a hot night in tents with roosters crowing, dogs barking and truck horns blaring before first light. We began work after an excellent breakfast prepared by the wonderful Haitian staff here at the orphanage — eggs with onion, garlic and butter.
Out to start our day early, painting the main residence white and a shade of turquoise called “Tempting Teal.” The strongest members of our team spent their day on the roof swinging mauls at concrete pillars that have to come down off the roof. They realized after a full day achieved a very small opening in the reinforced concrete that they will need a jack hammer and air compressor. Off to St. Mark’s to look for those tools tomorrow. The women made more visible progress with the painting today, but are less sun burned and heat fatigued.
Today we also are celebrating the 22nd birthday of Amanda Muise, who is on her second trip here and deeply in love with the children, although she misses her Mike. For the first-time visitor to this wonderful place, the warmth of the children, Karen’s family, makes such a strong a lasting impression. Their laughter, their openness, the hugs….you really have to experience it first-hand.
The other big impression is the heat. It is hot, hot, hot here compared to Canada and the humidity is intense. But we’re pacing ourselves and have the fans on in the evening. We will update you soon with more photos, and we are truly thankful and blessed for this experience.
Note from Karen. I feel I must include a photo taken before bed last night. One of the first timers, who is a small man, arrived with size XL underwear. Dora quickly to the rescue – with something more his size which he had to model. A good start to a good week.