Sunday, June 24, 2018

PLC Days 6 and 7: Dio's, Montfort, Salsa, Wahoo Bay, and More!

Days 6 and 7: June 23rd-24th, 2018

Sak pasé, blog readers?

Sorry we missed yesterday, but you get a double dose of Haiti action today. It’s Max back again with our sixth and final blog from our trip to Haiti. This covers our activities on Saturday and our trip to Wahoo Bay today.

Yesterday we split up into two teams. One team headed to Dio’s, a special needs orphanage, while the other group headed to Montfort, an orphanage and school for the deaf and hearing impaired. I had the privilege of spending the morning with the amazing kids at Dio’s. The kids had a range of disabilities from minor to major, but every kid was such a blessing for us to work with. Even though we spoke different languages, and some of the kids could hardly speak at all, we found a way to communicate through games, coloring, mirrors, and much much more. I don’t mean to flex on y’all, but I got my nails painted with some sparkly nail polish by a 5-year-old while laying underneath a parachute. What’d you do today?

After our stint at Dio’s, my team also got to visit the Haitian Olympic Training Center. I think the coolest part about this is that we went there expecting to only spend 20 minutes walking around seeing the different facilities, but instead we spent over two hours playing all sorts of different sports with the kids and adults alike. The boys took on a team of Haitians in basketball and sadly fell in a 14-22 loss. The upside is that from now on we can claim that we only lost to the Haitian Olympic Basketball team by 8 points. Nice! Everyone had an amazing time using the facilities at the training center and I am definitely looking forward to doing it again on a future trip.

The other half of the team got to head to Montfort for the morning. This is a larger orphanage that is for kids with hearing disabilities and the deaf. Montfort is amazing because it had a large school as well as a farm to try to keep the place as sustainable as possible. One thing that many of the team members who went to Montfort appreciated was the fact that you could have more in depth conversations with the kids through writing. A struggle that most of us encounter when we are down here is the inability to communicate with the kids because we don’t know enough of the language, but by using the whiteboards that the team brought to Montfort, they could ask whatever they wanted to. Many of the kids could communicate fluently in English and that made the conversations that our team members were able to have so much more meaningful.

After the day’s activities, both teams met up at Fleri bakery for a pizza dinner. The food was amazing as usual and we got to play lot’s of fun games on the TapTap ride home. For those of you who have played “Zoo” then you know how quickly you can pass the time while playing! We ended our night with a salsa lesson with Jean! Everybody got to show off their dance moves and when Jean finally thought we were good enough not to embarrass him, he invited us to go dancing with him at the salsa night club. The high schoolers and Barry all got dressed up and headed up to the Elite Hotel to dance the night away. We spent the next 2 hours salsa-ing to our hearts content while the rest of the team was sound asleep. I definitely was missing that 2 hours of sleep this morning when I rolled out of bed.

This morning we went to Grace Church and had an amazing church service with the people of Titanyen and Grace Village. This was yet another opportunity for us to see a different type of worship than we are used to and all I can say is, “Goosebumps!” We then got to spend the day at Wahoo Beach. It was a nice change of pace to be able to see the natural beauty that Haiti has to offer. We spent the day swimming in the ocean, snorkeling, riding jetskis, and relaxing after our week of service here in Haiti.

As I am writing this right now, we are all in the living room watching a slideshow of pictures from our past week. It is always fun for me to be able to reflect on what we have been able to do over the last 7 days and how close the 25 of us have grown together as a group. I can honestly say that this has been one of the most life changing weeks of my life. From the littlest things like learning a new word in creole with a boy in Cite Soleil, to the bigger things like learning to salsa with all of my new friends, everything we did had a meaningful impact on our lives and we will carry these things with us for the rest of our lives. I am always blown away by how big of an impact we can make with such small actions. If the team has taken anything away from this trip I think it can be summed up with these three things:

  1. Live your life in the order of JOY. Jesus, others, and yourself. This plays into every action you make on a daily basis and is one way you can do little things to make a big impact.

2   2. The Yes Theory: Say yes to anything and everything! Life can be as exciting & fulfilling as you wish. So long as you're willing to seek discomfort.

3   3. No matter how hard we try, Haiti is something more amazing than we will ever be able to explain and do it justice. The people’s kindness, faith in Christ, and love is unlike anything you will be able to find anywhere else in the world. We always come to Haiti expecting we are going to make the big impact, but in reality it is Haiti who makes the biggest impact on us.

Thank you all for staying updated on our blogs over the last week and we can’t wait to see you when we get home. We love you all.

Goodnight and God bless,

Max Nelson