Saturday, March 31, 2012

Haiti - Part 1

Ever since we knew we were adopting from Haiti we have wanted the entire family to experience the beauty and uniqueness that is Haiti. This March it was Kaylin's turn to go. She and Robin mapped out a trip and an experience that was just for them. They didn't go with a team but they had the chance to visit some great missions and see the beauty of the Haitian country.
Robin asked each group they would be visiting if there was anything they would like him to bring. He was only held back by the limitations of the airlines. Because it was a busy period he was told they could only check 3 bags which was too bad, because they could have brought a lot more.
They headed first to the island of La Gonave which involves the gorgeous blue waters and a rustic boat. 3 years ago Robin and Emily had the chance to go up the bumpy windy road to Terre Cel to visit a school there. They were both humbled and amazed at the sparseness of the school and the area and yet the spirit of the teacher there. This trip, they were both saddened that things seemed to be in much the same situation. However, they are hopeful that the community can get a plan in place and have access to funds that are currently in place just for a new school.
And again, they were both amazed at the spirit and tenacity of the teacher they met. With nothing to work with, he still manages to faithfully show up and educate the children of the community.
Coming down the mountain, they loved the markets with the parking lot for the mules.
Kaylin was especially excited to visit with Beth Gould, a nurse from Nova Scotia who is working in the hospital there. The only request she had was vitamins for the kids.
One day Kaylin suited up and spent time in the hospital. There was a visiting surgeon so she had the opportunity to see surgery and also a birth. She is more excited than ever to begin her nursing journey. And as a mother, I'm so thankful for men and women who will share their passions and allow a young person an up close look at their world.
After 4 days on La Gonave, they headed back to the mainland and to an organization called Clean Water for Haiti. I had heard of this group because the couple that run it have adopted a little girl from Haiti and they have a family blog that I have followed through the years. They also write a blog just for CWFH where you can read more about them and also about their vision trip. Their location is right on the ocean and they have maintained lots of trees in their area so Robin and Kaylin were not exactly suffering.
On Sunday they walked up a trail to a small church where the Rollings often worship. Just in case Kaylin was missing her little sister, Olivia was more than willing to jump into Kaylin's arms.
The church was small but Robin and Kaylin enjoyed the experience.
CWFH does not offer the typical missions trip where people come and work. Instead they offer vision trips where people can come and "catch the vision" for what they are doing in Haiti. Visitors come and see and can participate on a small level with the production and distribution of the biosand filters. There is always lots of talk about not taking work away from locals and too often that is the unanticipated result of too many missions. Kaylin figures her presence there created work for the locals. Every thing she did, a Haitian worker would come behind her and "fix".
This is the truck they used to travel around to the different communities to check on filters they had already distributed and to visit new communities.
Again, this was an experience unlike anything else Robin had before. They went through countryside where the rice fields were lush and green and as far as the eye could see. And yet, in those communities, there was real crushing poverty juxtaposed against the beautiful lush landscape.
One day when they were out with the filters, they had to stop at a local spot for their lunch. Robin and Kaylin had their shots so they went for it.
This has got to be one of the coolest trees anywhere. I just thought of that huge tree in the most recent Pride and Prejudice move and thought it had nothing on this tree. Part 2 to come later.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the pictures and the write up about Robin and Kaylin's experiences. Thanks, Mom