Mary Hanks: What an amazing day! We started out in the morning driving to the orphanage. It was crazy to see how the earthquake’s presence is still here. There does seem to be building taking place but progress is slow. * It is hard to describe the orphanage. The children are so loving, and we had a great time holding and playing with them. Another group from Oregon came just as we were getting ready to leave. The children there definitely had a packed day! * We continued our day to look at the Cathedral. We can no longer walk inside. It is said that they have cleared out the inside. The structure is incredible and would have been amazing to see intact. * We went up the countryside and were able to see the city from above. It is amazing how big it is and how compact everything is. Of course this is coming from someone who loves her country space! Tomorrow we leave for Seguin and continue our journey!
Leah Vicini: Everything about Haiti is amazing. The people here have welcomed us in, although we have only been here for two days. We already have two new facebook friends! We started off in the orphanage which was such a humbling experience. The children bring so much into our lives with the little that they have. It amazes me how two people from completely different cultures can connect with a simple glance. Soon we were traveling up the mountain only to get stuck on the side of the road because our truck was overheated. I have never been stranded in our “first world country” so my first time was in a third world country. Tonight we had ourselves a party, Amos came and played beautiful music for us. I think we might have made history as the first mission group to bring in entertainment. Man the people here can have a good time!
Sam Terranova: This trip has been mind-blowing so far. My first day I met this awesome new friend Aidan, and shortly after another good friend, Frank! After arriving in Haiti I instantly understood why people say pictures don’t do the experience justice. * Currently I am watching Elizabeth and Lauren get their hair put into corn rows; what a sight! * We went to the orphanage today and realized how much joy the smiles from these kids faces can fill someone with. They begged to be held and refused to be put down. It was incredible to see how these kids respond to affection. I wish we could go back tomorrow! * We made a quick trip up the mountain today to do a little shopping from the locals (yes mom, we got you something). Tomorrow we leave for Seguin for the rest of the week to do some work. Should be another long, bumpy, yet extremely entertaining ride. Our interpreters Will and Ricardo and our new friends Rama and Amos might be some of the coolest people I’ve ever met. * One last thing; today Frank and I played a lot of pick-up basketball with the Haitians on a court behind the house. Obviously we won the first two games because we’re great players, but then lost the third when two of the guys on the new team were about 6 foot 4 and 270 pounds of pure muscle.
Mary Hanks: After 8 hours (but only 90 miles!) we made it up the mountain to Seguin. We were cheerfully greeted by everyone and the kids are very excited to learn our names. We unpacked and moved in. We had a nice meal and are finishing settling in.
Looking forward to Mass in the morning and our adventures tomorrow!
Aidan Nguyen: I wasn’t planning on writing on here, but I could already hear my parents voices asking me why I didn’t try to record this experience. So here we go! I had just stepped out of the airplane and almost instantly was hit by a massive heat wave. Yet I was amazed by the beautiful mountains that I could see across the airfield. Then I remembered my friends’ voices, (Having heard a ton of peoples voices in my head so far, friends family…I’m not crazy) take something to take pictures with. * We traveled through the crowded streets and stayed at the house where I was bitten in my sleep. My leg ended up being spotted with the red dots, to my surprise having placed lots of bug spray on myself. I played basketball in the morning with several Haitian kids along with Sam and Frank. Being terrible at basketball in general they easily brushed me aside, with dignity in tact I surrendered. We traveled up the mountains, the roads very close to the edge and rocks everywhere. It was an exciting but also terrifying ride, and I couldn’t help but stick my head out the window taking in the gorgeous valleys. We met the kids who greeted us with smiles. * I danced with some who kept calling me Chinese which is fine…we all look the same. I noticed that everyone here waves when you wave to them, if only the people in the states did that. Then my sister wouldn’t look so crazy.
Mary Ann Vicini: It is wonderful to be in Haiti with this great group of parents and kids! I am very impressed with the kids’ ability to interact with the people of Haiti. They met a Haitian Musician yesterday, and he came back last night and put on a concert for the kids. The orphanage was very sad, however it was beautiful to watch the kids hold and play with them. The kids are giving 100 percent and they are very interested in the life that a child in Haiti struggles with each day. Miss all of you back in the USA. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers.
Terri Hakeem: So blessed to be with all these beautiful Hatian people. * We survived our 6 hour ride up the mountains today and are ready to begin our work here with the people of Seguin. Everyone is doing well. Ready to celebrate Palm Sunday in AM with the Haitian community.
Lauren Pangle: Meghan Wilson and I would like to begin by shouting out to our parents! We love and miss you guys tons! I seriously thought there was a chance I could have died today. The ride up was really scary! At points I would look out my window and see nothing because the fog was so heavy. We were about two feet from the edge of the cliff with nothing but rock below! The drive was scary but rewarding, too. When we passed by someone they would look at us skeptically, but as soon as we waved they would light up and smile, as well. When we arrived at the rectory there were children there who ran to us and greeted us. We played with them and taught them to play tag and Frisbee. One of the little boys tried to teach me to count to ten in Creole, but I didn’t quite catch on. They were also very funny and I couldn’t help but laugh with them! I’m looking forward to another exciting day tomorrow!