So we have arrived at our last day of serving in Haiti. We will be here tomorrow but today is our last to serve the people. As many can imagine, spending a week together in close company day in and out, heat, dust and so many new experiences to absorb can take its toll on your energy level and ability to pop up each morning ready to shine. So it was today. We all needed a coffee boost and to strap on our mental coffee to get ready for the big day ahead.
We began our day heading on what was to be a long drive to a residential area of Port au Prince called Carrefour. We loaded into the blue Tap Tap as had been our usual routine and headed off. After about 15 min we realized we were heading back to the Guesthouse. In an unexpected turn of events, our great drivers discovered expired insurance and so returned to trade for the white Tap Tap. We unloaded and reloaded for the trip again. This time the trip would be even more of an adventure. How to describe the difference? Maybe the difference between riding a greyhound bus and riding a covered wagon J What a journey! Sitting on bench seats and hanging on to the hand straps we made our way through the wildest ride ever this trip. Super crowed streets, bumping and swerving; horns honking along with a myriad of smells were with us for the more than an hour-long drive.
We finally arrived in Carrefour and the Hospital for Sick and Dying Adults. We entered, most of us unsure of our role, to provide what we could to comfort them. The guys went to serve in the mens ward while us girls went up to serve the ladies. It was a touching experience to be able to provide some small amount of comfort and pleasure with massages and nail painting. The time just flew and it was time to go…wait just one more hand to paint; we hated to leave without serving each person in need.
We left the hospital and took a short drive to the Musee de Pantheon National Haitian. This was exceptionally interesting. We had the museum basically to ourselves and were treated to a personal guide who explained the whole history of Haiti. We walked away with a whole new perspective on Haiti. The air conditioning wasn’t too bad either!
Next we took a short hop to La Loo Orphanage. We had a bit of a paperwork snafu to begin with but with that resolved, we entered to a chorus of song from more than 40 young kids. We got down to business with crafts for all and the kids colored and glued amazingly peacefully. We so enjoyed connecting with kids at their level.
We made it back in time for a dip in the nearby hotel pool and a dinner of shepard’s pie. In talking about our day today, we all agreed that throughout this week our perspectives of Haiti have evolved. Where we first couldn’t see much beyond the garbage, smells and extreme poverty, we can now see the beauty of the people as they work, play and praise God!