I am definitely a little sad that I’m leaving PAP, Haiti tomorrow morning. While I’m looking forward to an air-conditioned environment and sleeping in my own bed, I am certainly going to miss my Haitian brothers and sisters. It was an honor, and a privilege, to work beside and among them the past eight days.
My team and I have worked many hours in exhausting heat and humidity, but the progress is visible and there is a sense of accomplishment among us. The trench we began digging last week is now a cinder-block foundation perimeter ready for the next team (who arrives tomorrow!) to continue back-filling the low spots.
Our interpreters, Rodney and Joseph, will forever hold a spot in my heart. They both cared for all of us throughout the week and provided excellent service. Rodney was my personal bodyguard this week, he never let me stray out of his sight and I am eternally grateful for his hospitality, sacrificial love, and graciousness. I will miss him dearly, but I know we will see each other again.
The Haitian men we worked beside hold a very special place in all of our hearts. In fact, Michael planted the seed of gift-giving when he presented his shoes to Mucho, one of the Haitian workers. It didn’t take long for this act to become contagious.
Several of us departed the work site wearing sandals or no shoes at all. Again, it was an honor and a privilege to give my shoes to this man. With Rodney’s translation, he graciously thanked me for my gift and even made a funny comment,
I’ll wear your pink shoes because you strong woman who use pick axe!!!!
Right on, my friend, right on!
He’s right, though, wearing pink DOES make you stronger. Earlier this week, I carried a 90-lb bag of cement mix on my shoulders. (tsk tsk) That sucker was HEAVY!!!!!
After lunch today, the team and I served one another the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Even stinky work clothes and tiny styrofoam cups can be transformed into a holy, sacred moment. Afterwards, we joined our hands and offered a prayer of thanksgiving for the Haitian workers we’ve met and the students who will learn at this school once construction is complete.
I’ve said it before about the Haitians, but the same is true about my fellow teammates: it was an honor to work beside each of you.
I’m going to miss this place. I already miss my Haitian friends. But I have promised them, and myself, that I will return. There are many opportunities available in Haiti, and some of them I want to share with friends and family about the possibility of them coming to Haiti with metoo. It is an experience that words cannot describe.
Rev. Lara said it best when she returned from her first trip to Haiti last October,
…..it was the most exhausting trip physically, emotionally, and spiritually ~ but I’m going back!
To my Haitian brothers and sisters, I will return to your beautiful country. I will be back. We will see each other again.
For additional posts and pictures from my mission trip to Port-au-Prince, Haiti this week, please visit the team’s blog by clicking HERE.
God bless you!
- I held Haiti today (mrshutchison.wordpress.com)