Stephanie Daum: I saw a girl with a T-shirt that said “ Everyone smiles in the same language.” I think this saying perfectly describes our trip in Haiti because although we don’t speak the same language as the Haitian people, we seem to say all we need to with a smile.
Meghan: Hi Mom and Dad1 Today I learned how to build a latrine (which is a bathroom if you didn’t know). It took a pretty long time but it was fun. I also got a little tour from a Haitian woman. She took us through what seemed to be the heart of the community. Some people live in huts made of straw while the more fortunate live in small cement houses. Our little friend Livalto showed us his house. At lunchtime we brought him and another little girl into the house and fed them lunch. It was awesome to know you gave them a meal when they typically only have one small meal a day. Tomorrow we are heading back to Port Au Prince and on the way home hitting up the beach! I can’t wait to tell you about everything I’ve experienced. Miss you guys tons and can’t wait to be home with you. Love you.
Tim Daum: I want to share with all who are following this blog how well the young men and women of our Catholic high schools are doing on this experience. We are traveling and living under conditions that are more difficult than most us have ever experienced. We are surrounded by poverty and filth. We are eating food that is often difficult to identify. Despite this, our students have behaved admirably. They have been positive, inclusive and always ready to jump in and help. They have never hesitated to engage with and hold the local children no matter how dirty they might be. You’d never know there was a language barrier watching our kids interact with the Haitians. You’d all be proud of your child’s strength of character and capacity for compassion. All week your children have reminded me of the passage “that you do for the least of my brethren, you do for me.” Kudos to Mr. Ryan for offering this amazing opportunity to open all our eyes to this part of our world.
Sam Terranova: Masonry could be in a lot of our futures. Today my group of about six kids and three adults built a latrine with two Haitian workers who spoke almost no English. Despite this we finished building our latrine in no more than four hours. It again shows that with our group’s dedicated work ethic and positive attitudes the language barrier can be broken down quickly. * After a morning of hard work we broke for some lunch. As we were walking up to the house with a group of older boys following closely behind we saw amongst their knees a smiling little face. Upon seeing this Anna and I promptly grabbed the little boy’s hands, picked him up, and brought him inside for a sustaining meal consisting of Coke, suckers, Jolly Ranchers, popcorn, and a sandwich. After we stuffed his face and the other group returned from building their latrine, the fun began. * Frank, Will (our interpreter), and I along with help from the Haitians invented a new game, a sort of mix between basketball and football. Two hours of intense play went by in the blink of an eye. We came inside for dinner sweaty and dirtier than ever.* Tomorrow we head back to Port au Prince, but not before a stop at the beach to swim in the ocean. Also I didn’t win my bracket pool, so no money earned. Just thought you would all be anxious to hear. Anyways, can’t wait to see everyone back home. Goodnight.
Lauren Pangle: As much as I am looking forward to going home and seeing my family and friends, I can honestly say I will miss my friends here in Seguin. All the little boys that came to the house to play with us will hold a special place in my heart. Watching them get their new shoes tonight was priceless. They were so excited to get shoes that weren’t falling apart and covered their whole foot. This trip has taught me so many things and I know that I will never forget this experience. Sitting here writing this is making me sad to think that I know I will get home and get back to life as usual, but these kids will continue a life that I would consider miserable. Although it was not the most fun way to spend my vacation, it was definitely the most rewarding, eye-opening and challenging. I will never forget Haiti.
Elizabeth Tietema: Today was our last day in Seguin. I am really going to miss all of the people and all their friendly faces. My experiences so far have been unbelievable and ones that I will never forget. Tomorrow we are going back to Port au Prince. On our way back we will be stopping at the beach. We will be heading home Friday. I am so excited to see everyone back in Michigan. I miss you a lot!
Love you lots! See you soon!
Frank Bergquist: Haiti is an experience I will never forget. This week has been amazing. To be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to this trip at all. From the time we first made it to the airport in Detroit the group has been awesome. As the trip went on and I got to know the people in Haiti, especially the children of Seguin, it touched me how grateful they were just to have us in the town. Everyone smiles and waves to you. There is not an unfriendly face here. These people have made me realize how much I have and how easy my life is compared to theirs here. My only problem though was the showers….cant wait to get home and take a nice long one. Today especially was really good, the team was split into groups and we built latrines for people. When we got back to the rectory Will, one of the interpreter, taught myself and Sam a game. It was crazy! Its was a combination between basketball and football. I can’t remember the last time I had that much fun and got that dirty. This has been one of my favorite spring breaks, but I am excited to get back home with my dad and see everyone. Once again this has been a great experience that has made me a better person and has helped me to grow. I will have so many stories and memories to share when I get home. Love you mom, Anna, and friends! See all of you soon!
Leah Vicini: Tomorrow is going to be a rough day. I cannot imagine leaving behind everything I have come to love here is Seguin. All the dirt and grease everywhere cannot take away from what a trip this has become. The group has been awesome and we have accomplished a lot together. To my dad who says my hands are soft from never working, you are wrong . They were very pruned from moving wet concrete back and forth to the latrine, but very worth it. After being covered from head to toe in concrete we traveled back to the house where my little girls were waiting to play. I was immediately humbled as the little girls began to wipe the dirt off my body. It goes to show that no matter what your situation in life is you always have something to give. I look forward to seeing everyone when I get back , but first I look forward to giving the girls my extra lunches to leave knowing a big smile is on their face. Gina, I hope Dad is keeping you entertained. Hugs and Kisses.
Anna Duemler: Throughout my entire trip I have noticed one common expression in all the Haitian people. Happiness. Even though these people are living in absolute poverty, they find a way to smile. The kids are ALWAYS laughing and surrounding you wanting to play and dance. For a country that has been through hell and back, I have never seen a bigger sign of heaven. I am blessed to have been a part of their lives and will remember every moment as long as I can.