Tuesday, June 19, 2018

PLC Day 2: Water Truck Day!

Day 2: June 19th, 2018

Howdy friends and family!

It’s Max back again with another blog for day 2 of our trip! Tonight I am joined by Brooke Wilson. She just graduated from high school in North Carolina and this is her first trip to Haiti. (Yesterday was also her first plane ride!) She has some stories from today that I am just going to interpret from her and we will see how that goes. I was up early this morning making pancakes with Phaunis and Ulta, the ladies who work in the kitchen. My pancakes were fantastic thanks for asking. Today was water truck day and we have a lot of great stories! For those of you who don’t know, Water Truck Day is an all day experience where we deliver clean water to Cite Soleil, the slum of Port au Prince. Cite Soleil doesn’t actually have any clean water, so Healing Haiti brings in clean water in huge trucks 6 days a week to a full system of stops throughout the wandering streets. This is our first real experience to be hands on with the people of Haiti. During a stop most of the group plays with the kids who come running out to see the Americans when they arrive. We heard the phrase, “hey you” about a thousand times and “Potim” which means pick me up just about the same. (The phrase “hey you” comes from when the U.N. was in Haiti, the soldiers used to yell that at the kids to get their attention and now it is the only English that the kids know will get our attention.) While that part of the group is occupied, the rest help with filling the buckets with the massive hose of water and carrying the buckets back to the homes of the Haitians. I had the blessing of being able to see into a few of the homes of the people in Cite Soleil today when I was carrying buckets back to their homes, if you can even call them that. Most were the size of a large elevator and looked like they were inhabited by a group big enough to make an elevator feel uncomfortable, even standing up. The experience was truly humbling for me and words can never truly do it justice.

Water truck day was an awesome experience for all of our first time trip goers as well. Brooke’s one word to describe today: satisfying. She says her favorite thing was to be with the kids and seeing the look on their faces. We both agree that it is amazing how much love and value we can bring with just a truck full of water. It is so easy to take everything for granted like our clothes, shoes, a place to sleep, and it is important to remember that most of the people in Cite Soleil don’t have access to those things. One thing that Brooke says it amazing to her is the strength of all the women who are gathering the water at the water truck stops. It is so amazing go see a woman, and sometimes even little girls, be able to carry a full 5-gallon bucket of water on her head like it was nothing. Brooke also says she has an immense amount of respect for each one of these women who do this, 6 days a week when the water truck comes to their stops.

Our team also had the opportunity to visit Fleri Farms. Fleri Farms is a new farm that Healing Haiti has opened up that will be supplying food to Fleri Bakery and several other locations once they are up and running. There are many different types of produce growing at the farms including mangos, bananas, avocados, coconuts, sugarcane, pomegranates, star fruit, papaya, and much much more. We actually got to try the sugar cane and a few of the coconuts while we were at the farm. One of the staff broke the coconut in half so that we could get to the meat in the middle to try which left me with one option: recreate the opening scene of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Haiti style. I would have been satisfied with that for the excitement in my day, but apparently we were just getting started.

The team hit a total of three water truck stops today and by the end of it we were exhausted. It takes a lot out of you giving out that much love! We regrouped at the house and after an absolutely delicious dinner of Chicken Yarisoba, or noodles with chicken, vegetables, and rice, we decided to hit the pool for a refreshing swim. I wore my USA swim trunks, which I thought might be frowned upon for being politically correct, but they turned out to be a real hit with the neighborhood boys. See Mom, it was a good fashion choice. After our swim we headed back to the guesthouse for circle time and reflection on today. Then we did the only logical thing we could at that time, shave the word “Haiti” into Nelson Linscott’s chest hair! (I really hope I can get a picture uploaded of this, but if not we will for sure share it with you when we get home). Apparently Katie Ose is a master with an electric razor. It was almost like she had shaved a design into someone’s chest hair before… curious. We are all getting ready for bed now so we can rest up for tomorrow’s activities, and prepare for what tomorrow holds. We will be visiting a handful of orphanages and a few other cool locations that we will share with you in tomorrow’s blog. Thanks for following with our trip through the blog and I hope you have as much fun reading these as I do writing them.

How do I say “chest hair” in Creole?

Max Nelson