Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Citie Soleil and Tent City Miracles

First of all, we apologize that we have not blogged for a few days.  The Internet connection here at the guesthouse has been a bit sketchy. 

Yesterday, we spent the day in Citie Soleil.  Our first stop was Soleil #17, where we helped fill buckets of water. There wasn't many buckets to fill as most of the people had recently received water the day before.  After filling the buckets, we took a walk down a garbage filled, pig infested path toward the water's edge.  The smell was indescribable, a combination of filth, death, decay, human and animal waste.  It takes your breath away.  In the midst of the broken glass and decay, we held the children who were seemingly unaffected by their surroundings.  They were all smiles, enjoying the attention and love, desensitized by their day to day life. 

After our "walk out", the team set up a clinic not far from the water truck stop.  As soon as the doors opened, we were swarmed by the crowd of adults and children seeking out medical care.  Several team members positioned themselves amidst the crowd while the rest of us served out of the back of the taptap.  The lines were endless and the needs were great.  It was very chaotic.  Despite careful planning and setup, we were not prepared for that.  In our group discussion after dinner, one of our team members reflected on the experience we had that day comparing it to that of Jesus' experience as a healer.  He was placed into many chaotic situations, and much was expected on him but through it all he remained calm and managed to continue to heal and restore faith in many.

Today's experience was significantly different, due in part to regrouping and re-organizing late into the evening prior to going out.  We set up a mobile clinic outside one of the Tent Cities, not far from Visa Lodge.  We had team members working out of the taptap, aside the truck at a station and in front of the truck where the line formed.  We experienced many memorable events today, one of which included helping a brand new mom successfully breast feed her day old infant.  We also witnessed the extreme patience among the Haitians waiting in line to be seen and treated, and also among the interpreters being pulled in a hundred different directions.  The day would never have gone so well if it wasn't for the team work and each and every role being served.  After dinner some of the team members described the day in one word:  peaceful, content, humility, patience, life, energized, precious, universal, and translation. 

What a wonderful day.
God bless and Good night.

Betsy and Melissa

Monday, May 20, 2013

Day 1

 Started out the day bright and early with a 6:25 departure from Minneapolis, arriving at the airport at 3:45 am.  Flight was mostly smooth, arrive in Miami with a very short layover just to re-board 30 minutes later for Port-au-Prince Haiti.  We arrive in Haiti at 2:30 and had a "warm welcome" including a mariachi band upon our arrival.  After the chaos of getting through customs and immigration we waiting outside at the Tap Tap (our transportation vehicle) for the rest of our California and New York team members to fly in.   It was a hot and humid wait, but definitely good to experience the culture first hand and get to know each other a little better.

We finally arrived at the new Healing Haiti Guesthouse in Port-au-Prince after traveling through the gravel, dirt roads of the city.  The Tap Tap held up well, carrying approximately 15 + suitcases and 17 people.  It was eye opening to see "Tent City" which is home to many Haitians, with homes made of scraps of construction material, tarps, scrap wood, etc..

We were warmly greeted at the house, and treated to a Taco Buffet Salad for dinner.  We then spent the rest of our evening sorting medication supplies and preparing for our day tomorrow in City Solei.  We are all exhausted from travels and preparation, but excited for starting our journey here in Haiti. 
Good night!

Macey & Melissa (M&M)