Dear Runner Lovers,

I thought that maybe you would like to read a little about my trip to Haiti.  I did not write about anything too heavy so do not be afraid to read these little stories I am sharing! It is just to give you an idea about what it is like to volunteer with PID Haiti.  I never went running, hahah! :D

On the second day, I went with the group over to the Canaan worksite.  All us girls wore short sleeved shirts with scrub pants, 98% deet bug spray, lots of sunblock, baseball caps, gloves and construction masks.  In the beginning, I was very afraid of my surroundings, and unsure about whether or not to talk to the locals.  Then, as time went on my French speaking came in handy.  There were these little boys who came over and took the pick-axes, and would not give them back.  I was so nervous one would hurt himself.  Once I said, “Donnez-moi souple,” the boys immediately gave me the construction tools.  Whenever, I brought the sifted dirt for cement over to the big bucket to be mixed, at least five children would grab the wheel barrow trying to help which was adorable.  On our break, I held a little girl the entire time, while another little girl was sleeping on my lap too.  I think it is so important for children to be held and they loved the love! I loved meeting all of the children at the construction site.  The biggest challenge of working construction, was moving the giant pile of cinder blocks at the end of the day.  All five of us formed a line and passed the cinder blocks to the right, and up the stairs into a storage house.  When it was time to leave, we gave the children of the town our leftover five-gallon of water and they loved it.

Sometimes during the week, I stayed at the Partners in Development Clinic to shadow.  One of my favorite moments was holding a new born baby.  A mother came in with her nine day old baby, both of them had a consultation.  While mama was being seen by the nurse, she gave me her baby to hold.  This baby was so small he fit in the palms of my two hands, and I was rocking him to sleep.  He was just so precious sleeping in my hands, I adored every second.  At the same time, it was very sad to see a baby this size who would have much different health care in the United States. 

In the airport, we accidently picked up the wrong bag, because it looked identical to the one we packed and the Port au Prince Airport is bustling.  When we arrived to the clinic, we opened up the bag to see what was inside.  We were pleasantly surprised to see fifty soccer balls!  Later in the week, we had a New Year’s Party for local children in Blanchard Haiti.  We made them a peanut butter sandwich, hardboiled egg, and popcorn.  Then, we made paper airplanes for them to write a wish on and fly off the roof.  One of our teammates thoughtfully brought a Polaroid camera, so we took pictures of the children in 2017 glasses and props for them to take home.  There was karaoke and lots of dancing.  This party was spectacular, and in the end every child received their very own soccer ball to play with.  Perfect, because soccer is everyone’s favorite sport in Haiti! That party made everyone happy :D

In the future, I hope to return to Haiti on another service trip.  On another trip, I would bring more donations such as children’s shoes and more necessities.  The Haitian community is very inspirational, no matter their circumstances they are still continuing to live their lives to the fullest, having families and making a living to support their families.  Some women work from sunrise to sundown, it is incredible.  All of the Haitians, I met were very welcoming and happy people, I will never forget their big smiles.  Being in Haiti made me realize what really matters the most in life, love.  Material objects are not necessary for survival, but love is necessary.  Through love comes strength and happiness, which is the foundation for a truly beautiful community.  I feel blessed to have been with the Saint Joseph’s College community, we were a great support system for each other experiencing everything together in Haiti.