my trip to Haiti in July 2013 part 1

I've been back for almost a week since my trip to Haiti with my daughter through the organization Mission E4. The picture above is before their front gate at the girls' orphanage in Cassagne, Leogane.
This is a picture of us from day 3 at the outdoor dining area of the guest house in Gran Goave.

Our team stayed at a beach house in Gran Goave owned by Mission of Hope International. There is another group named Mission of Hope Haiti. They also do great work in Haiti, but we didn't stay with them. They do not have air conditioning, you need regular electricity for that, but I was able to walk right out the back gate, down the boat ramp and into the Gulf of Gonave every afternoon for some resuscitation after a hot work day.

I don't know, nor did I want to know, how (un)clean the water is. It was very murky, but so refreshing. On the horizon, we could barely see Gonave Island. Mission of Hope has a small motorboat that they take out to the island to do ministry and relief work. The Haitians I met, whom I asked about the island, told me it was the poor part of Haiti. It's hard imagining people living with less than what they do in the rest of Haiti.

One of the sites we worked at was in Fauche, where a pastor and his wife are taking care of about a dozen orphaned boys, as well as running a small school. The school is just a tin roof and some blue tarps. We were helping poor the foundation on the right for a new school. There is more information about the ministry and financial need on Mission E4's Fauche page

Some things never change. I helped mix concrete one shovel at a time then poured a foundation one bucket at time. I've done this at different spots the last two times I've been there.
The outhouse complex to the right of the house/orphanage is everything you fear an outhouse at a boy's orphanage would look like behind plywood doors.
Speaking of terrifying things, the outhouse was nothing.
 I had first time encounters with a tarantula in the wild ...

and the even more terrifying and massive wasp called the tarantula hawk. It's finally dead in this picture next to my pen. They lay eggs on live tarantulas. When they hatch, the pupae feed on the living spider.
At the girls' orphanage, my daughter and another team member filled up one wheelbarrow at a time, which I rolled to another part of the property and dumped and spread out, eventually making this pile disappear over two days.

The trip wasn't all work and play. There was a spiritual aspect to it as well, which was very significant for me. I think I'll talk about that in part 2.

P.S. It cracked me up to find this graffiti in Haiti. Was this by an American tourist on some family's home? Does a Haitian teen live here who happens to know English? I have so many questions yet I agree with everything written on this wall.
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