Today was a long day. We woke up to chickens crowing and music bumping. We packed up all our gear because we thought we weren’t returning to the school that night. That in turn made us late for breakfast and when we got there they had run out of food.
We spent an hour driving into the mountain, headed for our destination called La Plane. The roads were a series of potholes and Haitian drivers make New York City cab drivers look like they are driving Miss Daisy. At one point there was a huge back up where the road had corroded. It was a combination of damage from the earthquake and water run off. We helped a driver get his truck unstuck by piling into the back of it so he would have more weight and therefore gain more traction on the mud.
Our team partnered with a church from the Dominican Republic that is donating materials to build houses for orphans. These orphans lost their leader in the earthquake and scattered into the streets looking for food. They were starving and many had been sexually assaulted when the church gathered them up. The church is moving them to La Plane which is located outside of Port-au-Prince at the foothill of the mountains where it is safer.
We dug out foundations, mixed concrete and laid brick and re-bar in preperation for the rest of the materials that were supposed to come that day or tomorrow. The people of La Plane were eager and ready to help us with the work that needed to be done. I met a 19 year old boy, named Reginal, who had taught himself English by getting a hold of a dictionary in English. He asked me how many languages I knew, assuming it would be at least 2.
This village suffered from poverty. The homes they lived in were nothing short of shacks. Kids played in dirt while goats, pigs and chickens wandered around looking for anything edible to eat. I played some games with the kids even though the language barrier kept us from having conversations. At the end of the day we played soccer with them which elicited a lot of smiles. One of the people asked Pastor Brad if we were Christians, and when he replied by saying we were, responded by saying we acted like Christians. We thought that was meant in a good way.
We didn’t have lunch, so we snacked on cliff bars. That afternoon we ran out of water. Most of the guys from the Dominican Republic had been stopped at the border for hours that day, along with our supplies and bottled water. The Haitian government had reverted to its corrupt ways and was demanding bribes to let them through. There had been a reprieve from those corrupt tactics since the earthquake. We prayed that God would work in the situation and let them through, which did happen a couple hours later.
We ended the day covered in layers of sunscreen, mosquito spray and Haitian dust. We had a wonderful day, however; working with the people of La Plane. We drove back to the school, dropped off the nurses, and went to a house that the DR guys had rented. We pitched tents in the driveway since there was no air conditioning in the house and it was cooler outside. I wrote this journal entry in my tent, book ended by three sweaty guys that I have really enjoyed working with.