Anna Duemler: Holy smokes! Sorry mom and dad for not blogging sooner, but we’ve been so busy exploring the wonders of Haiti I’ve hardly had any time. The first two days went by in a whirl as you can probably read from the other blogs, but I’ll be the first to explain about today. * We started today with the blessing of the palms outside of the rectory and saw the true reverence the Haitian people have for God. It was inspiring to see the way they sang and danced to the hymns. After the blessing we walked about a quarter-mile down the mountain to their church for Palm Sunday Mass. * The church was quite crowded, but thankfully we had some seats reserved for us at the side. After Mass the priest even gave our group a shout-out. The attention and round of applause we got was sweet! * Afterwards as we were walking back to the rectory bunches of little kids came up and hugged us and held our hands as we walked. Now to present time. * We just got back from a trip up the mountain to Ryan’s Peak (I bet you can guess who it was named after). The view was incredible! Now, we are just back at the rectory having tickle fights with the kids and blogging away. * Anyway, I just wanted to check in and miss all of you back home in G-Rap. See you soon!
Sam Terranova: Let me just start off by saying YESSS! I say this for multiple reasons. * Firstly, because this trip so far has been a dream. Especially now in Seguin where we finally get to interact with the kids in their own environment. They are teaching us many new games and most importantly to love life. The way these kids smile and laugh while their situation is so bleak sends a message to me loud and clear; No more complaining about washing the dishes. In all seriousness though, being around these kids makes me truly happier. * Secondly, our interpreters who accompany us around Port au Prince and Seguin are awesome. The road trips have been so fun thus far and I’m learning a lot of new Creole words. Another reason they are so good is because Anna Duemler rides in the cars with me and makes it that much better! * Lastly, I just found out Kentucky and Kansas are playing in the March Madness tournament championship. I know you might be wondering why this is a big deal, but if Kansas wins the game then I will win about $300 from the bracket pool I’m in. So please let me know who wins! * I miss you guys back home in Michigan and can’t wait to see you mom and Teddy. Peace out until my next blog!
Terri Hakeem: Beautiful countryside up here in the mountains of Seguin and the joyous people of Haiti are amazing. Their faith and attitude are examples for us who truly are blessed with so much. I miss all of you in GR and look forward to seeing you on Saturday.
Alex Lankfer: Hi everyone! So far the trip has been amazing. We’ve had the chance to see the poverty in Port au Prince and the agriculture in the mountains of Seguin. I’ve never seen a real mountain before so that was crazy seeing how big and cool they were! While we were driving to the rectory in Seguin (where we’re staying,), we were so high in the mountains that we were inside of a cloud! * Since today is Palm Sunday we had a blessing of the palms at Mass and then we walked down the rocky mountain to the little church. Even though none of us know that much Creole and the Haitians don’t know that much English, it’s cool how we can all talk to the kids here. They’ll come hang out with us during the day and after dinner in the yard of the rectory. * I wasn’t sure what the food would be like here, but it’s actually really good. In Port au Prince the sisters at the Matthew 25 house, (where we slept Thursday and Friday night), made us dinner, so it was safe to eat more of the food. But here in Seguin the Haitians prepare dinner, so we can’t eat vegetables and have to be more careful. * About an hour ago two little girls came over to the rectory to play, (usually it’s only boys), so some of us brought them inside to color and make bracelets. We also gave them candy but we had to hide it from the boys! * Tomorrow we start putting tarps on the corn husk houses so the families living there have the comfort of a dry, warm house on rainy days. I’m excited to really start doing something other than giving my lunch or extra clothes to a hungry child, even though everything is important I want to have a long lasting impact on a whole community of these people because they really need and appreciate the help. It’s amazing to see how everyone genuinely loves life no matter what their situation is. * Can’t wait to see everyone at home! Love and miss you.
Elizabeth Tietema: First I wanted to say sorry to my parents for not blogging sooner, we have been so busy and I haven’t had much time. The whole country has been absolutely amazing. I am so happy I came and have had the best time. Today when we woke up we saw the community of Seguin come together for a blessing of the palms. I have never seen as much beauty in a Mass before. The whole church was filled with beautiful singing. After mass we went up the mountain to a place called Ryan’s peak. I felt like I could see forever. Later when we got back to the rectory we were able to play with all the kids. We played tag, Frisbee, jump rope, and danced. The kids were amazing and were so sweet. They would come and grab your hand and walk around with you. I loved it! Right now we are getting ready for bed and I’m pretty sure everyone will asleep fast because it was such a long day. I miss all of my family and friends at home and can’t wait to see everyone soon! Love you all 😉
Meghan Wilson: Hi Mom and Dad! Sorry it took me so long to blog you guys, we have just been so busy learning about Haiti’s culture and interacting with the people. I wish you guys were here with me, because I can’t even begin to describe the experience I am having. (Although I don’t think Mom could handle the no shower thing!) * One of the things I loved most so far has been visiting the orphanage. Just by being there you bring smiles to the kids’ faces. As soon as we walked in they put their arms out for us to hold them. One of the kids I held was malnourished, and Mom, I know it would bring tears to your eyes. His arm was just about as thick as my index finger. Regardless of how sad it was, it made me more thankful of what you give me. I just wish I could have done more for the children. * The ride to Seguin was also very fun. The motion sickness medicine made my cross eyedness much more noticeable and it was pretty funny to see. The interpreter who drove us is also very cool, his name is Will. Once we reached Seguin we were able to interact with a dozen boys who hangout around the house. They love to take pictures with us. * Today we went to Mass. Some of the Haitians walked as far as two hours to attend. My favorite part was hearing the people sing and giving the kids our palms (shaped like crosses) at the end of mass. You could see the happiness in their faces at just being around us. That is probably what touched me most. I can’t wait to share with you guys in more detail when I get home. I really wish you were both here to share this experience with me. It is the greatest feeling knowing you are helping these kids! Thanks so much for giving me this awesome experience! Tell Jimmy, Erin, Ryan, and Kelly I say hi. Oh and Molly too. Love you guys so much.
Leah Vicini: Happy April Fools Day. Mr. Ryan made sure to remind us all. He thinks his joke was funny but it nearly made me begin my walk back to Michigan. All jokes aside I am really enjoying myself. It is wonderful to come back a year after my first trip and still remember all the little boys and they remember me! We are all quickly learning a lot about each other (sometimes a little too much). It seems as though we have a family developing down here, doing so makes every night a little more sad because that means soon our trip will be over. Indeed I do miss you (Gina and Dad), but I think I will manage a few more days away form you. See you all soon hopefully a little tan and not burnt! Love you all !