Colleen Ryan ~ This is my fourth trip, and I am still amazed by the pure beauty of Haiti. Today we started delivering water filters in Seguin. In the constant incline we walk up in Haiti, I loved seeing all the children who run up to us and hold our hands. The joy of the people is inspiring and makes me love Haiti even more. After we were finished handing out water filters, we attended Holy Thursday Mass. Haitian Masses are much more exciting than those in America, and make you want to jump up and sing in Creole (even if they are a couple hours long). I cannot wait for more adventures in Haiti with this amazing student team.
Erin Mangan ~ I am still in shock at the beauty I see here in Haiti. It has been really fun to see people in Seguin again (mom, Patrick and Baby both asked about you). They are always so willing to come help us as we deliver water filters. We also got to go to Holy Thursday Mass, which is full of so much joy and singing. I can’t wait to continue this trip and meet new people. We have such a good team this year, and I am excited to see how the rest of the trip goes!
Allie Ouendag ~ It’s my first time out of the country, and I am so blessed to be able to be in Haiti. We had a great time playing cards and “mafia” every night. I loved driving up the mountains and seeing all of Haiti. Today we handed out water filters and got to meet families from around Seguin. My favorite part was playing with all the little kids.
Bela Karel ~ This trip has been an adventure. Between the car rides with few traffic laws to the beautiful views, it’s been unbelievable. The food is amazing too. Mass was a really cool experience too, even though I couldn’t understand it. Going through the markets and towns and up through the mountains was really awesome, except for the terrain. Getting thrown around in the bed of a pickup truck while scaling the mountain was something I think I’ll never get used too. It’s all worth it though to see the families that we’re helping, and to play with the kids. We’re also learning Creole, which is a really cool language. My favorite word is fou, which means crazy. I’ve been called that a few times lol.
Michaela Quam ~ This trip has been AMAZING! The culture, the people, and the way of life has been so humbling; it’s overwhelming. I have met so many wonderful, fun people that bring so much joy to my life. Today, we went through town and saw the market, brought water filters to families, learned tons of Creole, played with some kids, went to Holy Thursday Mass (which was an unreal experience, even though I couldn’t
understand what was going on; plus, I got my feet washed!!), and we played soccer with some new friends:) I am so grateful I was able to come to Haiti – one thing crossed off “My Bucket List”! I’ll never get old of the beauty in the sites, and in the people. Excited to see how the rest of the trip goes!
Clare Hart ~ Bonjour, Bonsoir, Allo, Sahk passe, napboule, These are just a few words that we have learned from our new friends. So far on this trip, we have been tossed around pickup trucks, gone to a Mass in a language we don’t understand, and covered ourselves in mud. Honestly the opportunity to come on this trip has truly given me a whole new perspective and outlook on life, as well as teaching me all about how the Haitians live and with that they are teaching me gratitude. I have also had to envelope myself in spf 110. I have found the most joy in the children; they are so kind and pure of heart. Even with the language barrier I feel that all of the kids here on the trip have connected so well with all the inhabitants of Seguin. With the culture barrier we still continue to struggle to understand all the dialogue, but the best way to unite anyone under any circumstance is through smiling. On our 8hr car ride, we traveled all the way through the rocky mountain terrain and city. The crowded streets were filled with curious, nervous staring pedestrians. However as soon as I waved and smiled, their faces lit up with happiness. I believe that God is shown through each and every person here. In church they are so devout and faithful, and to see them give what little they have to the church is a prime example of how they reflect Christ. Everyone here is hilarious, especially Baby, Weebly, Ralph and Velo.
Kendall Krueger ~ This trip has exceeded all of my expectations so far. Everybody on this trip is so friendly and kind-hearted, from the students and adults to the locals. If there is one thing that has stuck out above all else, it is that language is not a barrier to communication, whether we are communicating through smiling and taking pictures, playing soccer and cards, or having dance parties, we always find a way to have a good time with everybody. This trip has made me feel feelings that I did not know existed. It’s sad, but at the same time it’s moving. I have met so many people on this trip that I know will be my friends for a very long time, even the locals. Baby, Weebly, Moncoson, Patrick, Valio, and Valerie (just to name a few) are all so funny and so inviting, I am going to miss them so much, and our painful car rides in the back of pickup trucks up and down the mountain. Baby especially has made an impact on me, he calls me his sister and my dad, his dad. He is so incredibly thoughtful, genuine, loving, and always thinking of others before himself, characteristics many people in my life lack. This trip has been so incredible and life changing, and it’s only day three. The rest of the week is going to be full of so many more great memories and can’t wait for it. Leaving them is so going to be heart breaking, and that is the one thing I am not looking forward to. I am so happy I was able to come along on this journey and also blessed to be a part of something so great!
Ben Lankfer ~ We’re three days into the trip, and already so much has happened. After a day of traveling by plane (PS my bag had to be checked 🙁 ), we arrived in Port Au Prince. Everyone from CC and West have been so nice and everyone got together very quickly. Thank goodness I brought cards because we have three decks, and they are constantly used when there’s down time. The second day, we travelled eight hours to reach Seguin and drove past some eye opening scenes in the city. Once out of the city, driving through the mountains gave some of the prettiest views I have ever seen. Getting to Seguin, you could not see more than a hundred feet because we’re in the clouds. The car ride may have been a little bumpy, but it did not compare to riding in the truck today and delivering water filtration systems. Even though I may have slipped a disc, meeting the locals was one of the coolest experiences. The kids are constantly smiling and want to play. They will also always tap on your leg and ask, “Photo?” and be ecstatic to see the picture afterwards. Also I’ve put in a ton of effort to learning all the animals in Creole as they are all adorable especially a little puppy we saw at one house. Today we had Holy Thursday Mass, and even though it was prolonged and in Creole, I’ve never seen a group of Catholics with more faith. I am so excited to grow closer with everyone on this trip and what this week has to come.