Hope for Haiti: P.E/Sports Education Opportunity
Students on this travel interim have an opportunity to partner with the K‐13 Haitian Christian School located on the
campus of Mission of Hope. Students offer pre‐planned in‐services for teachers on the following topics: learning
styles, teaching methods, and creative lesson planning specific to P.E. and sport.
Day 7- Beach Day
Today was more of a relaxing day. In the morning we headed to Wahoo Resort, about a 45 minute drive. The reason Mission of Hope brings us to the beach is to show us what Haiti could really be. The mountains are right on the ocean and it is one of the most beautiful scenes ever.
At the beach we spent our time playing beach volleyball, swimming, snorkeling, and reading by the pool. We got a Haitian meal for lunch and soon enough it was time to head back. After dinner, we had a debrief with all the other groups leaving Mission of Hope. John, the project manager, spoke to us and really made an impact on a lot of us.
At 8:00 it was group devotion time. Instead of just doing devotions, praying and singing, we decided to share our testimonies with each other. We sat for three in a half hours and listened to everyone talk. We laughed together, cried together, and really got to see inside everyone's life because everyone shared. I know for a fact no one will forget that night. God truly blessed each one of us on this trip. We are all grateful for having the opportunity to come to Haiti.
Thanks for reading about our week! If you get a chance someday, GO TO HAITI! You won't regret it. :)
Day 6 - #bestweekever
This is Jenna, Kaitlyn, and Heather giving you the low down from the day. Today was a pretty emotional day for us if we do say so ourselves. It was our last day in the village on our trip. We woke up this morning, had a delicious breakfast of oatmeal, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cereal, and breakfast bars then headed back to our rooms to put on our mission work finest; long skirts for girls and cargo shorts for guys. We left the MOH base around 8 a.m. and headed to Leveque where we split into two different groups and set off in different directions.
The goal today was to go beyond just praying for the people living in Leveque like we did on Tuesday; we went to share our testimonies with them. This is where the first emotional part of the day set in, if sharing your testimony with complete strangers isn’t scary enough… try sharing it with a translator in between. Language barriers might just be the worst things in the world. Today required a complete faith in God to allow us to open up and share our testimonies with the people. The experience of today was rewarding because of the reciprocity that took place as we shared our stories and the Haitians sharing theirs right back.
After eating a great chicken salad, peanut butter and jelly (we eat a lot of pb&j here), and random snack lunch, we set back to Leveque and started to rally children up for an afternoon of fun including; skits of stories from the Bible, sing-a-long songs, games, and dancing. The kids in the village were overjoyed to have us hold them and love on them for a few hours this afternoon, and our team was plenty happy to do it.
Time flew by this afternoon while we were playing with the kids. When it came time to say our goodbyes, the second emotional part of the day hit. This is the last time we were going to see the kids; this was our last day coming to Leveque. We actually had to say goodbye, it wasn’t “see you later” this time. Sitting on the bus waving goodbye, you could tell that we had made a difference in these kids’ lives from the looks on their faces, but the funny thing is… I think they made a bigger impact on us than we did on them.
Tonight after dinner, it was one of our group’s turn to do dishes and help out the kitchen staff, and they did it in a pretty record time. After dishes were dunzo, then we headed onto the roof of the building we are staying in for praise and worship night. Claudel, the worship leader at the Church of Hope, played and sang acoustic and even took the time to share his testimony with everyone. In a word: amazing.
Overall the experiences we’ve had in Leveque this week were #lifechanging and will probably be something that we will never forget. We get the day off tomorrow and are taking a team trip to a resort for some fun in the sun!
Day 5 - Kings of the Road
Sak Pase Trin?! This is Ellie, Courtney, and Mark reporting on the events for today.
It’s hard to believe we are more than half way through our trip to Haiti! Today wasn’t as eventful as yesterday, but our day ended with a HUGE surprise. This morning, we were disappointed that we would be driving the school bus to Leveque instead of the “King of the Roads” taptap truck, because we all enjoy the thrill of riding in the taptap truck. Due to technical difficulties, however, the school bus was replaced with the infamous “King of the Roads”. When we showed up to the site, we were able to see the houses we painted on Monday. It was awesome to see the progress that has been done since just two days ago! The Haitian workers are nearly done with the roofs, and the homes all have doors now. With that motivation in mind, we began our task of painting two more homes this morning. Today’s painting was different, however, in that we could now envision the people we met and interacted with yesterday living in these homes. It was incredible to think that our group is eventually going to be part of housing over 50 Haitians within just our week stay here in Haiti.
After completing our first two houses, we traveled to another campus of Mission of Hope to eat lunch and rest. We had PB&J…again... but today’s lunch was different. We took turns playing brain games as a group, solving riddles with ridiculous solutions. Of course, Kirsten’s crazy ideas but good guesses got her to solve almost all of them. When we returned to the MOH 500 village, we found that we didn’t have the correct supplies for one of the houses. While Ashmitt was getting the correct supplies, our entire group got to work on our green house. We finished painting in record time (around 20 minutes). It is amazing how well we work together as a team and how much we have accomplished so far. If anyone needs their house painted, we are the crew to call! We all gathered in the “King of the Roads” to head back to the main campus as usual for a relaxing evening.
Our seemingly normal day turned quite eventful in a matter of a few minutes. As we approached the market on our way home, we came to a stop. It seemed as though we were waiting in the usual rush hour traffic until we peered our heads out the taptap. In the distance, we could see a wall of Haitians coming in our direction. We had no clue what to expect or what was going on. Unknowingly, we were in the middle of a spontaneous parade of celebration of Haitian culture. We saw men and women carrying flags, singing and chanting in Creole. We were all amazed to be caught in the middle of this once in a lifetime experience, as it was like nothing any of us had ever experienced before. Our taptap driver wasn’t too pleased to be stuck in traffic for so long, but we loved every minute of it.
We ended our day with a great pasta dinner, devos, and talking about our favorite parts of the day. Now, we are just enjoying each other’s company before heading off to bed. Well… that’s all for today!
Peace out from Haiti!
Day 4 - Eventful Day
Bonswa USA!! It is Erynn, Kelly and Taylor’s turn to blog for the day. It was an eventful day, so let’s get to it!
Today was “Tie Dye Tuesday,” and we all wore out shirts that we tie dyed the week before departure to Haiti. As we loaded onto the bus to head over to Leveque, we realized we had two extra passengers, CARPENTER BEES! They were large and in charge. Being that there are 17 girls along on this trip, a lot of screaming was taking place. As we were all running away from the bees they went out the window, so we all thought we could relax in safety. However, shortly after both bees returned and one was discovered under Courtney’s skirt. We never would have known with her calm and modest reaction ;). Poor girl got stung on her leg, but she is tough. Ashmitt, our translator, came in for the rescue and smashed the bee on the window with a Sprite bottle. So it was an interesting start to the day.
The morning continued to Leveque where we did some village work. We split up into groups, each with their own translator, and walked around spreading God’s Word and encouraging the Haitians. We got to hear many testimonies and stories of how they came to be located in the Leveque community. For example, one group met a 16-year-old girl who was pregnant and was going to have her baby within the month. Her mom and dad died and her boyfriend left her because she was pregnant. Some village people brought her in and took care of her. Another story, a woman was very ill with infections, headaches and viruses and was going to a voodoo priest to get healing. About 3 years ago she became a Christian and hasn’t been sick since. There are many other stories, but we will save those for another time. After about 4 hours, we gathered back to the bus and returned to Mission of Hope campus to eat lunch.
After lunch we returned to another section of Leveque to talk to the people and pray for them. As we were pulling up, there were 3 little boys running to the bus screaming, “YES YES YES YES YES!” with fist pumps flying in the air. Clearly, they were excited for us to be there. As we got off, we made different groups and dispersed into the community. Children flocked to us and would not leave our side as we went from house to house praying for the people. We met a woman who had 20 children, one who lost her husband in the earthquake with 4 children and no job, a man who was not a Christian but still listened to what we had to say, and many other wonderful people. After walking around the community we gathered to one section and got to play with the children for a bit. Once we pulled out the soccer balls, jump ropes, Frisbees, and footballs the children came from everywhere! I would say about 50 or more children were there playing with us. A lot of us girls got our hair braided (painfully) and many Haitian boys schooled our boys in soccer. And they love cameras! Once you pull one out, they try to grab it or want to see as many pictures of themselves as possible. We all basically had our own personal photographers. It was time for dinner and sadly we had to say bye to the children to enjoy another delicious Haitian dinner and go to worship shortly after.
Worship service tonight was amazing! Hearing worship songs in Creole is quite an experience. Haitians are so expressive and emotional in how they worship God. As the songs continued, they ended with a bang. The last song got the Haitians going. And soon after, us too! The people were going into the aisles and toward the stage dancing, singing and swaying. So we joined them! It was very hot, but a lot of fun! A great end to the day. We wrapped up the evening with devotions and the card games began.
Hope all is well in the US of A! Over and out from Haiti!
Day 3 - First Day of Work
Today we returned to Leveque to begin our first day of work. We started the morning eager to return to the village and to take our first ride in a taptap! (A small carrier truck with the roof removed and instead of hauling items, it hauls us!) The ride is a blast, bouncing down the roads and seeing more and more of Haiti. However, you must be mindful of the tree branches. Some of us got up close and personal with those!
When we arrived in Leveque, we loaded the taptap with painting supplies for the houses. It was especially exciting for the returners in our group to see how much progress had been made since they came the last time and to see people living in the homes they had helped paint.
We knocked out two houses (painting the exteriors) in the morning. One house is a bright blue, the other hunter green. Many of the village’s children were excited to see us and wanted to help too. It was an added bonus to spend time with them.
We took a break for lunch and headed over to Mission of Hope’s second campus, Bercy. We were able to reflect on the morning work and share sandwiches with some other crew members. Sharing our experiences with each other made them that much better.
The afternoon shift of painting took us a bit longer to complete as we were now painting the houses cream and yellow. Needless to say there are more than a few coats on those houses. It was all wonderful, though, because it gave us extra time to play with the kids!
The kids were a blast and incredibly loving. They were little bundles of joy and so excited to be with us. Just spending time with them brought them and us so much joy! They love taking pictures and wearing our sunglasses and hats. It was a big change for us to interact with them because they acted so differently from children in the United States-who definitely do not run into the arms of complete strangers just to hug and love you. We loved every minute of today and cannot wait to return tomorrow.
Day 2 - Sunday
Bonjou! Welcome to our blog. This is Hannah, Kirsten, and Karliegh reporting about our first full day in Haiti.
Our day started out with the rooster crowing at 4 a.m., which was a little earlier than usual for most of us. After our 7 a.m. breakfast, we went on a tour of the main campus. We saw the orphanage, hospital, school, and ended at the church. It was amazing to hear how Mission of Hope started out with only 200 kids in school and now 15 years later has around 3,000.
Our church experience is hard to explain, but we’ll try our best. The first hour we sang songs in both Creole and English. This was a very moving experience, and we’re blessed to have been a part of it. The last hour was full of the sermon and more singing. Even though we couldn’t understand what was being said, we knew it was powerful by seeing everyone’s reactions.
After church we had lunch and then headed out to the other 2 campuses of Mission of Hope. The first campus, Bercy, was relatively new and already had a school. The plan is for this campus to be like the main one plus an elderly center and a mini resort. The second campus is located in Leveque and called Mission of Hope 500. When the earthquake occurred three years ago, people fled to this village and have been living in tents ever since. Mission of Hope has been building houses for the people in the village. They are small, have three rooms, and are all in vibrant colors. Leveque consists of 2 groupings of these houses – one for the hearing and the other for the hearing impaired with a church set on a hill between them.
After the tour of the campuses, we came back and ate dinner from a restaurant. The food was delicious and consisted of chicken with an incredible sauce, rice, fried banana, and ice cream. After our stomachs were full, we had devotions and played games. Before turning in for the night, most of us headed up to the roof to look at the lights of the city and God’s beauty in the night sky.
We are already having an amazing time and cannot wait for the rest of the week. Thank you for your prayers and support!
Day 1 - We're Alive!!!
First order of business: an apology for the tardiness of this and the other blog posts. Internet is to blame for that minor setback. We arrived to Port-au-Prince safely on Saturday evening with ALL of our luggage (praise Him), and then again safely to Mission of Hope in the city of Titanyen about an hour later.
Haiti is absolutely gorgeous. We’re stationed in a village located between mountains and the ocean, just close enough to the city to see the lights at night. It’s been about 80-90 degrees every day, with very limited cloud coverage. Hopefully we’ll all arrive back home savagely tan.
Saturday morning we left Chicago for a flight to Fort Lauderdale. After about an hour layover in South Florida, we took off for the country of Haiti. Landing in Port-au-Prince (the capital city) was quite a new experience for most of us. The language barrier proved to be a difficult obstacle from the start, as we struggled to know who to trust with our luggage, directions, and transportation. But after some scrambling to get it all together, we got to the school bus which was to take us to the Mission of Hope campus.
Driving in Haiti is a very different experience from driving in the States. There is one rule and one rule only – get to where you need to go by any means. Not only is the speed limit simply a suggestion, but there are also an unlimited number of lanes which are occupied by cars, trucks, tap-taps (caravan taxis), buses, motorcycles, people, cows, goats, dogs, and the occasional palm tree planted in the center of the road. Needless to say, those of us who become easily motion sick were not appreciative of the drive itself. We also grabbed the attention of nearly every Haitian in the city. Who could blame them? A school bus filled with gawking North Americans waving cameras out the window must have been quite the sight to see. We received many stares, smiles, waves, and hand gestures, which we’ll assume were all warm welcomes to the country (ignorance is bliss).
So after a drive through the city, we arrived to Mission of Hope, where we were greeted with warm food, spacious lodging, and an incredible roof-top view. We unloaded 26 suitcases filled with donation items for the Mission, which the staff was VERY grateful for (thank you to all who made the donations possible!), and spent the evening resting, talking together, and getting ready for the week ahead. We were instructed to conserve water in whatever way possible, which meant five minute showers for all of us. Usually, this task would be next to impossible for me. But a combination of the scary-looking bathrooms filled with creatures and the 10-degree-water made it almost easy. After getting clean and setting up mosquito nets over our bunks, we went to bed. It was quite a day!
Thank you so much to everyone for the continued prayers and other forms of support that enabled us to be here! Also, thank you for the patience as we settle in and figure out how to operate this blog. Stay tuned to hear of other adventures we’re having in Haiti! We appreciate your thoughts and ask for prayer as we seek to serve the Lord in this beautiful country. And as they say in Creole, au revoir!
Love the Trinity Haiti Interim Crew (Kaitlin, Andrew, Brooke)