Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Hi Everyone ! This is my first trip to Haiti and I am so excited to see what God has In store for me and the team. Today was our first full day here. We arrived at the guesthouse yesterday around 3 something , quickly stored our checked bags in a space under the stairs where they will stay until the days that we need it, since it is filled with the donations that we are taking to each place we visit. We ate dinner around 4. We had taco salad which was pretty good. I was hesitant to eat the lettuce since I wasn’t sure if it had been rinsed in the water or not but I did anyways, and I am feeling fine today. We wash our hands  A LOT. We wash with soap and water (from the faucet) and then have to sanitize since that water is not clean. After dinner we kind of just did our own thing. Me and Jen took a walk inside of the gate (we aren’t allowed outside of the gate without a Haitian ) I pet the dirty guard dogs while Jen watched in disgust haha The dogs names are Princess, Bacon, and Bitsy. Jen and I plan on bathing them at some point this week because they need some loving too. The team congregated in the living room a little later to do our nightly devotional. Everyone was pretty hesitant to answer any group questions. I am not sure if that was due to people just being uncomfortable or tired. For me, It was a little of both. One of the questions would of needed an explanation far too personal for me to share, at least the first night. We chatted for awhile, listened to a song, and then prayed. After that we were on our own until we wanted to go to sleep.   
From the balcony on the second level you can see a lot of the city. All brick buildings, most of which are crumbling. You can see goats, some roaming and some tied up, lots of garbage, women doing laundry in buckets behind their homes, and kids playing on the streets and on roof tops. At night you can see a few lights, some people sitting outside of their homes and the glow of a couple fires. I am assuming the fire is burning trash. You can hear the children playing in the streets, goats “screaming”, horns honking, and dogs barking.  One of our team members, Todd, brought his guitar and he was kind enough to play a few songs for us that he wrote while we sat outside around the table on the porch of the guesthouse. 
I slept great last night, fell asleep right away and didn’t wake up until my alarm starting going off at 2 am because I forgot to shut it off from the other night. I had some really crazy dreams though. People say they are from taking to malaria pills. I remember waking up at some point and hearing the rain and thinking of how wonderful it sounded, I am assuming I woke because the power went out and the sound of the humming, white noise from our air conditioner in our room shut off.  I woke up again around 6 and tried to make coffee but I didn’t want to break the coffee maker so I just waited for someone else to get up and make it for me. Once I had my coffee in hand I sat outside at the table on the porch because there is somewhat of a breeze out there and it felt lovely. Also, it is the only place my internet worked and I wanted to skype my daughter. It was surprisingly quite except for some birds chirping, and a few dogs barking. We ate bananas, pineapple, pancakes, eggs and oatmeal for breakfast.
 Since home for sick and dying babies only allows ten people there at a time and we have a team of 16 we had to split the team. Half of us went to home for sick and dying babies and half went to the home for sick and dying adults and then we swapped in the afternoon. Home for sick and dying babies was really emotional. When we arrived there was people waiting at the door to bring their sick babies in to get medicine or to drop them off to stay there to be taken care of. Before I was even off of the tap tap I was teary eyed. I could tell that the small frame of the child one of the women was holding was at least 2 years old. To see the women desperately holding their sick, frail, children in their arms waiting for either medication or to drop them off there to be cared for was heartbreaking. I instantly imaged myself holding my 2 ½ year old in my arms, looking in to her eyes while she is sick or dying and knowing that there is nothing I can do to help her but stand outside this door and wait for anything I can get with no promise of knowing that she will get better. The babies were all so sweet. It was hard to put any of them back in their cribs. Adoption has always been an option in my mind but nothing could have made it more heavy on my heart than this day. 
We had a small break between the time we went to the home for sick and dying babies and Sick and dying adult. The majority of us took that time to head to the pool down the street. Some of us just relaxed, dipped our feet in the pool and had a pop. Some of the guys swam.  
On our way to home for sick and dying adults I was…..I don’t even have an emotion for everything I saw and I can’t explain it. It was hard to take it all in. The trash is everywhere, people are selling (what seems to be whatever they can find) off of stands that they have set up right off the street, a few coming up to the tap tap asking us if we want to buy a pop, and the large amount of tents that people live in. The driving was pretty scary, I am surprised we didn’t see any accidents but I guess they are used to it. They do have rules but from what I heard, when one Haitian was asked about driving rules, they responded with “we have rules we just don’t follow them” . The whole thing seemed Surreal. 
When we arrived at home for sick and dying adults church was being held and from the rooms we were in we could hear them singing. At some points during our visit the women would start singing along. We painted their nails and rubbed lotion on them. They were so grateful to have us there and I felt so blessed to have met all of them. In the second room there were adults and children. One of our translators brought in his guitar so he was able to play for them. Three young adults in particular were laying and sitting in their beds, eyes closed, arms raised, and worshipping the Lord. The smaller girls were so excited to have us there with them. They were quick to touch and hug you as soon as you walked in the room, showing you their hands wanting them to be painted while others stood behind you and brushed and played with your hair. 
This whole day has been so amazing and humbling. I feel so incredibly blessed to be a part of this. I know this wont be my Only trip to Haiti. 
Thank You to everyone who is praying for us and the people of Haiti. Thank you for your love and your support. 
-Amanda Jean 

Monday, April 29, 2013


Arriving in Haiti

The team all arrived in Haiti today safe and sound.  We all got picked up at the airport by The Healing Haiti Haitian staff and were taken to the house where we stay.  It was very hot and a different environment from what I/we are use to back in the States.  At the guesthouse we saw kids just running around with smiles on their faces.  When we were out on a small tour a young boy came up and gave me a big hug and we just walked around together talking.  He just put a smile on my face.  The entire team had dinner together and just enjoyed each others company.  

Kids from the walk

After dinner we all got together and discussed the day.  During discussion each of us picked a word to describe the day.  My word was calm.  I felt like the flight here was very smooth and the Haitians at the airport, as well as the ones who drove us here, could not have been nicer.  That experience was very calming.  In America we are always on the go.  Today I took everything I experienced in and realized how simple life is when you stop and see what God is doing around you.