Thursday, January 27, 2011

Haiti 6 Log 4

Haiti 6 - Day 8 - January 12th - 6th day at Jacob's Well (Wednesday)

We had an awesome surprise awaiting us at breakfast this morning!  Jacob's Well coffee!  Pots of it... We all passed it around the table and spent the next few moments inhaling it before we did our devo!  It was wonderful and just thinking about it now makes me want some more! :)

It seems like the children were lining up at the gate even earlier today.  They had to show the bracelet we gave them yesterday in order to be admitted, and then they made their way through the hand washing stations and joined their counselors on the parking lot.
Kids lining up at the gate.
Trooping in!

They started off with singing and worship and then headed off to their first activity.  The first and second activities went great.  Out of all the cabins that came through to shoot, the littlest girl and boy cabins were the easiest.  They were the best about waiting for us to show them what to do and help them, and they were so adorable!  

We went up the hill for our last Bible Drama.  Today's dramas were the longest and most complicated out of the six we chose - Jesus raising Jairus' daughter and Lazarus from the dead - but they went really well!  Afterwards, Peter Mark talked about how Jesus has power over the dead and then tied this into the Gospel message.  
Peter Mark giving the Gospel message

Lunch flew by and so did third and fourth activity periods, then the whole camp trouped "Upstairs" to the campfire circle.  The counselors got the kids seated in a big circle around the fire to sing and then Peter Mark gave another Gospel message.  Then it was smore time!  The kids absolutely loved roasting their marshmallows and munching down the smores!  We only had enough for everyone to have one, but they would gladly have come back for some more!

Smores was our last camp activity.  Then we handed each of the campers and counselors a little gift bag and then they all trooped down the hill and off the campsite.  It was really sad to watch them go and to think that we won't get to do this again for another year.  

We didn't have much time to think about it though, because we instantly started taking everything down.  Tomorrow is our team day at the beach, so we have a lot of packing up and last minute projects to finish so that we can leave early Friday morning.  We had to take down all of the activity stations, pack away all the activity supplies for next year and generally clean up the campsite.  In addition, we had some work to do to finish bunk beds for some of the cabins, shelves for the office, and consolidate all the luggage that we're bringing home.  We broke for dinner about half way through and then got back to work.  

There's a group of 10 brave souls who want to get up really early tomorrow (around 4:00 am) to hike up Double Head Mountain!  It's a long hike but worth it because from the top you can see the Caribbean!  I really hope we can go.  Unfortunately, clouds started rising over the mountain this evening and that usually means that it's going to rain.  We've just finished work and are heading to bed since we'll be getting up so early tomorrow.  I hope it stays clear!


It's about 10 at night and it just started pouring!  We can hear the rain pounding against the metal roof.  Every once in a while it sounds like it's going to slacken off, but then it starts up again, louder than ever.  Natalyn just came and told me that Hans has called the hike off - even if it stops raining before morning, it'll be too slick and dangerous.  We're all kind of disappointed but we've decided that we'll just have to climb it when we come back next year!  

Haiti 6 - Day 9 - January 13th - 7th day at Jacob's Well (Thursday)

We got to work early so we could finish our last projects before we headed off for our team day at the beach.  Part of my job was counting and cataloging all the cups, plates, and spoons we had used for camp and then packing them away in a suitcase to be stored safely until next year.  

Then we all rushed into our swimsuits, packed lunch, and drove about 30 minutes to the beach.  On the way there, I tried tap-tap surfing - where you stand on the floor of the tap tap without holding on to anything and balance the whole way.  It was fun and slightly challenging when there were steep hilly curves or big potholes!  

There was a group of white people in the village where we stopped at the beach - the first white people we'd seen since we left the main roads.  So after we parked the tap tap, we went over and talked to them.  It was a group of doctors from a variety of different places - a few Americans, an British doctor from Bermuda, and several others.  From what we gathered, there's a constant rotation of doctors who come from all over to work at the clinic.  They stay a week or two and then head home, and the next group comes out.  They've treated a lot of cholera in the area, and had 14 patients in the clinic when we were there.  But the doctor we were talking to said that as a doctor, cholera is nice to treat - not because it's a pleasant illness or anything, because it's not.  But because it's an easy thing to treat if the people just get to the clinic on time!  It was really interesting talking to them.   

Two boats took us out to the island
Then we crowded into two handmade wooden boats (10 of us in each in addition to the rowers) and were rowed out to a little island.  We had a great time on the island - the water was beautiful and we also spent some time hiking and exploring!  It was just a great day together as a team before we have to head home and go our separate ways!

On our way home from the beach, we stopped and drank fresh coconut milk straight from the coconut.

When we got back to the campsite, we ate dinner and then set to work.  We'd promised to finish the office shelves and the bunk beds before we left, and since we're leaving early tomorrow, we had to finish tonight!  I was a part of the shelving crew along with Hans, Hudson, Gabe and Konrad.  The guys did all the hard work - my job mainly consisted of marking and measuring boards to be cut and holding the flashlight (a lot of times, if we had power tools running, the lights would fade... so we needed the flashlight to see what we were doing).  It took a while, but the shelves looked great!  The other team was busy building bunks and stringing the rope webbing for the bunk beds.  It was pretty late when we finished and we were only to happy to tumble into bed.  

The plan is to be on the road by 8:30 tomorrow for the 6 hour drive back to Port-Au-Prince.  This trip has gone by so fast!  I can't believe it's almost time to leave.  And it will be so sad to leave Jacob's Well behind.  

Haiti 6 - Day 10 - January 14th - Trip back to Port-Au-Prince

The sad day has come!  It's time to leave the camp.  We loaded up all our stuff before breakfast, working to consolidate luggage, and make sure that we're bringing home everything we need to.  

Last meal on the camp - delicious as usual!  Then we loaded up on the tap-tap around 8:45 (only 15 minutes late!) and bounced away over the mountain roads.  

We had lots of fun the first part of the trip - laughing and joking as usual.  And the mountain roads, though rough and at times frightening, are beautiful!  By noon though, we were all pretty quiet.  Everyone was starting to feel the effects of the long drive in the hot sun... I forgot to fill up my water bottle before we left, so I know that I was pretty thirsty and I imagine the others were too.  

We stopped for lunch a little before 1:00 pm at a resort of all places.  The Valcins know the manager (knowing people is everything in Haiti!) and so he let us come in and wash up and eat the sandwiches we'd brought with us.  We all trooped into the bathrooms to wash our hands, but there wasn't any water.  In Haiti there's times when you have power, but the water's out... and then there's time when you have water, but the power's out... and then there's times when you have both or neither!  There's no telling.  

We all laughed a lot when we saw ourselves in the mirror!  Our hair was crazy because of the windy ride, and our sunburned faces were literally streaked with black from all the dirt.  There was a beautiful pool behind the building and our table was outside near the pool.  We were all so hot and tired and dirty that we literally charged the pool, knelt down on the side, and washed our face and hands in the water.  And actually, it was probably safer water to use than the resort water would have been, since the pool had chlorine in it.  It probably looked really funny to see a bunch of Americans kneeling next to the pool splashing water on their heads (a bunch of the guys even dunked their heads in) but we didn't really care!  

We got back on the road a little while later.  The stop really refreshed everyone and we were talking and joking again the rest of the way into Port-au-Prince.  We're spending the night at the Valcin's house again... and tomorrow we head home!  I'm excited to see my family again, but I'm going to miss Haiti!

More to come later...

~ A Servant of the King

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