Patrick Truskowski: Today, just like every other day, started the same. There were bells ringing, roosters crowing, and dogs barking, all perfect substitutions for my alarm clock. But nonetheless it was still the perfect way to start my day knowing that we were out on a mission to help people. After we ate breakfast we set out on our journey to help a man named Roger build his house. I had to go with some people to carry the heavy concrete back and forth between the trucks and the storage facilities and was covered in dust from head to toe by the end of it. Afterwards, we all got in the back of the pickup truck and delivered tarps. The ride was anything but smooth, and I eventually stood up and held on for my life while we went up and down the rocky terrain of Seguin. In the end it was easier to stand up in the truck than to sit down on the rigid floor. But it was all worth it, we were happy with our work, the Haitians were happy we helped them, and the interpreters had a fun time interacting with us. One of the interpreters named Will talked to me all day long as we made jokes and made fun of each other and at the same time are becoming good friends and making memories that last a life time. I can only hope tomorrow will be the same if not better.
Madilyn Pelak: I think it is amazing how much hope the Haitian people put in us. When we were walking to all the different homes, putting tarps on them, all the little kids will come up and hold our hands. I think it is really cool how we live in different places and speak different languages, but we all have the same feelings. I love taking pictures of the little kids and showing them. They laugh because a lot of them have not ever seen a picture of themselves. It is amazing how we do not realize how privileged of a culture we are, I don’t think I will ever forget that.
Miriam Brooks: Our first stop this morning was the construction site of a new house. We arrived there to see several men digging, carrying large rocks to the site of the house, and mixing concrete. They had already dug out a large cistern and the ‘shape’ of the house and were beginning to lay the foundation. The workers had a large pile of dry concrete mix and a couple of women were hauling buckets of water on their heads to mix it. They would dump the water on the pile and use a shovel to mix it all up. It was so impressive to watch as the men worked because in the States we have machines to do so much of the same work for us. After that we continued tarping cornstalk houses. The walks were long and uphill both ways, but were made worth it by the children walking with us and smiling along the way. ~Miriam Brooks
Emily Ivie: Today was just another day in Seguin. We wake up to the sound of roosters crowing. After waking up, we come down to eat breakfast which consists of spaghetti and hot dogs, goat liver, plantains, eggs, friend rice, and some bread. The food here is something else. It is not anything normal that I would eat at home. After breakfast all five of us kids loaded into the bed of the pickup truck, so we could drive to see the house that was being built for Roger. Roger is a blind man who definitely knows how to get around the town of Seguin by himself. He always knows when Tim is around, don’t ask me how. After going to check on the progress of Roger’s house, two of the girls and I walked back to the rectory with one of the interpreters, Will. Once arriving back to the rectory, we played football with all of the little kids, and had a lovely photo shoot with one of the Haitian ladies who works here. Once everyone else came back we ate some lunch. After lunch we loaded back into the bed of the pickup truck to go and put tarps on cornstalk houses. Going to all the houses and seeing that that’s the only thing those people have to live in makes me sad and super fortunate for what I have back home. The walk to these houses is long and uphill. The hills were a killer workout. But the walks were made worth it because all of the little kids would just come up and grab your hand and would walk with you to every house.
Stephanie Kaminski: Well the lovely sound of roosters and bell ringing is back. That’s what I get to wake up to every morning. Oh well, I like it because then I don’t sleep in. The past 2 days have been very fun. Some of the boys here tried teaching me Creole. I don’t remember any of it, but that’s probably how they feel about our language too. Yesterday, we did some water filters and some tarps. It was a good workout. Thank goodness for track conditioning, otherwise walking all these mountains would be terrible. It’s crazy though how all the little children will just follow you to every spot just so that they can hold your hand. I love it when the little kids just come up to you randomly and grab your hand. I hate having to let go of their hand though. We also played some soccer with the Haitians. It was fun, but I was really lazy and didn’t really feel like running. So I ended up just watching but that was still fun. Today we did tarps. As we were riding around, we got to sit in the back of the truck. It was really fun! It felt better today because we had tarps under us, whereas yesterday we didn’t have anything under us. Today we got to see a house that Mr. Ryan and his friends are building for a blind man named Roger. The people working on it got so much done just while we were there. After the long day of tarping the houses, we came back. I played soccer with one of the ladies here and two little girls. My feet got so muddy. Will, one of the interpreters, asked if I was turning Haitian!