Monday, August 12, 2013

Welcome to Haiti - Just say Yes!

Greetings from Haiti - We made it!

Our morning started early at 1:45am when the wake up calls started being delivered.  Thankfully the plane rides were uneventful, but you could tell the anticipation begin to rise when we took off from Miami to Port-au-Prince.  As we exited the plane we knew our adventure was beginning.  Our Healing Haiti staff rescued us after we busily retrieved all of our bags.  We all boarded the Tap-Tap (basically a truck with a huge cage in the back with benches) and took off for the Guest House.  With people all along the side of the road selling a large variety of items we noisily passed them on the rough bumpy roads. The sites and smells of Haiti were now real.  I have to say it wasn’t all that bad.  They have been working on rebuilding the area since the 2010 earthquake and it shows.  I was reminded that we were traveling though the good part of the city when I saw a city of tin shacks off in the distance. 

Once we made it to the Guest House we quickly unloaded our bags, but our leaders had the great idea of rounding up some of the local boys and heading to the soccer fields.  Once our staff helpers alerted the boys that the game was on, they rushed towards the Tap-Tap and boarded on with us.  The boys were very comfortable with us and shortly down the road they broke out in song.  The first song was Glory to God and was sung in both English and Creole.  The mood was set for a friendly game of soccer.  The fields were busy with young boys and the soccer games looked intense.  After our makeshift soccer field was made we put on our previously donated Eden Prairie jerseys.  The local boys quickly got the game going and man can they play!  Most had shoes, but some boys were running in the grass with bare feet, somehow seamlessly missing the large rocks and chunks of broken concrete.  You could tell that this was probably a major highlight for them all and we all thoroughly enjoyed playing with them.  Sure they probably took it a little easy on us, but our team did manage to make a few goals (I’ll always remember the one that I somehow got to go in)!
After the game we headed back to Guest House #2 and enjoyed a wonderful taco dinner.  Needless to say we were all very hungry!  After sorting out our donations we started to relax a bit.

So the first day was awesome, but I think we all know that the next few will be much harder both emotionally and physically.  We can all tell that God is here and working though us to help glorify Him.  On Sunday I asked someone at church that went last January if he had any tips for a rookie and he told me to “Just say yes”.  To try new things and volunteer when asked to do so.  It doesn’t take long once you are down here to get into the helping mode.  I’m excited for our team to tackle this mission this week and I’m ready to say “Yes”.  God will be with us helping us with all that we will encounter.  For this I am thankful.

Justin Langager

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