Trip Diary January 2015
(Click here to download the) Haiti Trip Diary Jan 23-Jan 30,2015
Go to our web site Operation-Go.org and see photos of this trip, and videos. There are photos of each child and their age when you visit the different orphanages. Learn about what Operation Go does in Haiti.
Day 1 Friday January 23, 2015: A team of 13 left for Chicago O Hair Airport at 2 am. All of us with our different talents skills and gifts. The weather was clear making for fast safe travels. We arrive in Haiti (www.idvolunteers.org/haiti-facts) late in the afternoon to meet our driver Leach Tamar Ach or as we call him Osaka. We have come to know him over the past several years as our interpreter and friend.
After loading 21 bags into two trucks we were off to Delmas 33(en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delmas, Ouest) in Port Au Prince where are teams stay with Pastor Renes and his wife Monic at their guest house.
The team unloaded some things quickly and we were all excited to get to the CHOAIDS Orphanage (www.choaida.org). The orphanage is within walking distance about a 5 min walk. There are 23 children there who are all HIV positive. They range in age from 21years to 2 years. During our tip two more children joined the orphanage. We took the kids down the block to a ball park and let them run, play soccer ball, tag and just have a good time. The children were fast at making friends with the new team. The kids went back home tiered and happy about the week to come, as they know we will go to the beach for a day before our team leaves.
After a wonderful meal made by Vivian who cooks for our team on each trip we turned in.
Day 2 Saturday January 24, 2015: After an early start at 7 am we meet for group meeting. We talked about our plans for the day followed by scripture readings and praise and worship songs. Breakfast followed and we were off for the day.
The team divided into two groups along with interpreters Osaka, Clement Kalipso and Berline Andre. The women and the kids on the team went to FREM orphanage (Future for the Kids Facebook page) which we have nicked named the baby orphanage. There are 27 children of which 20 are under the age of 5 years. The team spent a lot of time holding babies and playing with the children need one on one attention. Even the small children remember our team from before and again asked to go to the beach.
We had bible school with the kids we told them a story about Jesus salvation with beads. Each color represents a different meaning. Black for sin, white for forgiveness, red for Jesus blood, blue for baptism, green for growth, and yellow for heaven. We then made the beads into a cross necklace for each child.
Jim was at PROMOVAL Club. Which is a monthly meeting for PROMOVAL (www.partnerswithhaiti .org SILO) or (bertramfinancial.com/wp…/silo-movement-1docx). Jim helps pastor with the program. Jim talked to the students about what they want to do with their business and their plans for their business. The program PROMOVAL encourages values of Christianity leadership citizenship and business.
Mike and Donald were out in Port Au Prince in the truck going from market to market along the way to get supplies for the building projects. They were troubled with breakdown after breakdown with the truck brought on by a bad fuel pump.
Due to the truck breaking down the majority of the team was at the FREM orphanage without transportation much longer than anticipated. It was very hot and they didn’t have enough water along. It was a challenging day for the team. It gave us all much gratefulness for where we live and the fact that we can turn on a faucet anytime and have cold clean drinking water.
The ride home after Donald and Mike returned with a pickup truck to take all 13 team members back to the guest house was a blast. The whole team piled into the back of the pickup truck for the bumpy dusty ride home.
Day 3 January 25, 2015: Woke at 6 am to the sound of music and singing coming from a church in the neighborhood. Praise and worship in creole filled the air. A glorious way to wake. After our team meeting we headed over to the FREM (baby orphanage). We put a little tykes slide together for the kids and they had great fun. Susan and Ann got the names, ages, weight and height of each child while the rest of the team passes out clothes for each child. Dresses for the girls and shorts for the boys were made by women in our community. Then we loaded up the team and went to La Main Tendre orphanage (operation-go.org/la-maintendre) we have nicknamed The Blue orphanage because the kids had on blue shirts the first time we saw them. There are 31 children of all ages at this orphanage.
Our team again told the story of Jesus with Color beads and then had the kids make cross necklaces out of the beads. Two of our team members told what Jesus means to them. Again we got all the children’s names, height, and weight. Each child was given a dress for the girls and shorts for the boys made by women in our community and a toy that were also donated. The musical instruments were a big hit. Donald and Mike made school benches for the kids. A gift that the children will remember each day as they use them. The children go to school at the orphanage. To top off the day with a lot of fun we had a dance party. One of the little girls is deaf and she loved to hold the speaker and dance to the vibrations of the music.
At the end of the day we went to CHOIADS orphanage and spent time with the kids and had another dance party on the upper patio of the orphanage. The team learned a lot of new dance moves.
Day 4 Monday January 26, 2015: After our group meeting in the morning the team divided up to different places as to accomplish more in one day. Jim went with Pastor Renes to PROMOVAL and spoke to the class of students in an entrepreneur program. Some of the team went two CHOAIDS and painted while the children were in school. They painted the lower level and the stair well and common areas on the second floor, a lot was accomplished. After painting the team went SOLI (https://www.oursoil.org) for a tour located down the block from the CHOIAS orphanage. SOIL provides and teaches the poverty stricken Haitian people with ecological sanitation from human waste that is then made into organic compost to use for farming in the nutrient striped land. A couple of the team members at the same time went to FREM (baby orphanage) and help feed, hold and play with the babies. Jim went with Frantz Lafaille from the organization Future for the Kids (futureforthekids.blogspot.com) to buy food for three orphanages. Operation Go partners with Frantz organization providing food for three orphanages FREM, La Main Tendre and Agape, as well as, rent for the FREM orphanage. Frantz is Haitian American and came to Haiti after the earth quake leaving all he had in the USA to serve these children. He lives in a room at one of the orphanages and works endless daily to help provide for three orphanages and a Youth Center. They purchased rice, beans, oil, and chickens among many other things for the month and delivered the supplies.
We finished the day all of the team meeting at COIADS orphanage. We did the story of Jesus with the beads and made cross necklaces. After the long day the team walked to a place that has an open porch and serves food and cold drinks. We enjoyed talking about our day and visiting with the interpreters. It was enjoyable to sit outside in the warm evening.
Day 5 Tuesday January 27, 2015: Again after an early morning team meeting, bible study and songs we divided the team up into three groups,
One team went to FREM (baby orphanage). This team had four youths and one adult with a translator. The activities again were to hold and play with the small children giving them some one on one time. We assisted the women Carol and her husband David that run the orphanage, to get one of the small children to the hospital that had been ill with a rectal prolapse complicated from worms. Worms are a big problem among many children in third world countries. We helped with transportation and money to pay at the hospital. In order to be treated at most hospitals in Haiti you have to pay up front. The small children really enjoyed having the younger members of the team to play with. They played musical chairs and after they were exhausted then we had bible stories. We were to leave at noon and go to Agape orphanage but got a late start as we there was a flat tire on the truck we were waiting for. Something simple as a flat tire takes a longtime to fix, as things are not simple in Haiti. Fortunately we were able to get a ride with a Haiti American named Johnson who had driven the child to the hospital and we arrived at Agape about 1:30 pm.
There are 37 children at Agape Orphanage from ages 6-21. The orphanage sits with the front door that opens to the street. There is no court yard, the building is three levels. The lowest level besides boy bedroom is a large areas where the women cook for all the children using coal. The second level is bedrooms and the third level is a large room that they use for classrooms. Other children come to school as well as the orphanages. This orphanage is run by a pastor and his wife. The team painted and cleaned the kid’s bedrooms. Brittany went with Frantz to buy mattress and pillows for all the children. The kids had been sleeping in buck beds on top of ply wood. The children were so thankful to have new mattress.
We again got the kids names, heights weight and age and each girl got a dress and the boy’s shorts. Then each child made a sign with the help of the interpreters and Jim with one word that God means to them. Many of them said Love, Father, and Jehovah. Jim was asking the kids who God was to each child and was amazed at how they were all so confident in their faith even the very youngest. A true testimony to the loving teaching of the pastor and his wife that care for these children. The team then made a video of the children dancing with their poster.
The children at Agape orphanage sang for the team while one of the boys played guitar. They all had beautiful voices. They sang with such thanksgiving and worship. The children at this orphanage are so very peaceful, content and happy. Hearing them sing was a moving experience for most of the team members.
Part of the team spent the morning hours at the Blue orphanage making shelves for the kid’s rooms and playing with the kids. They also spent time along the road plagued with truck problems and flat tires again. Reaffirming how difficult things are in Haiti.
Jim went in the morning with Pastor Rene’s to Silo (www.partnerswithhaiti .org SILO) or (bertramfinancial.com/wp…/silo-movement-1docx). which is where he has built and runs a school. He has purchased land to have a church, expand the school and a clinic. Pastor Rense spoke with Jim about his plans and dream for Silo.
Day 6 Wednesday January 28, 2015: After team meeting and breakfast Susan and I along with Jim were to go to a new hospital that has a 300 bed inpatient bed facility and includes a teaching hospital providing education for Haitian Nurse, medical students, and resident physicians called Partners in Health (Universitarire de Mireblasis). We were interested in seeing the facility as we have many children at the orphanage that express interest in becoming Doctors and Nurses, as well as, some of the children at the orphanages need advanced medical care and rehabilitation. The hospital was sending representatives from the hospital that was to come get us and take us there. Unfortunately they could not get to us because of demonstrations going on in the downtown area with protest wanting the president Michel Metelly in Haiti to resign. http://www.nouse.co.uk/2015/01/23/118113/.
After regrouping half the team went to the Baby Orphanage FREM and finish projects with sealing the roof from leaks and again holding the babies. On our way to the orphanage we saw a man that was laying in the street. The police were on the scene. The man had been shot by a gang that works with tellers inside the banks and then ambushes people as they leave the bank with large sums of cash to rob them. We were happy that the youngest members of our team were sheltered from seeing this.
Jim and Michelle went to Papillon Enterprises (papillon-enterprise.com) in the afternoon. Papillon Enterprises exports and markets Haitian artisan goods for the cause of preventing child relinquishment. They offer on-site daycare and schools, training and the workers get wage. Again we are interested in what they are doing because many of our children at the orphanages needs skills and jobs to begin a life of their own when they leave the protection of the orphanage. The rest of the team went to Agape orphanage for a brief visit. Where again the kids played guitar and sang for us along with the pastor and his wife.
We then went to city Soleil (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cité_Soleil.) Future for the Kids Youth Center (Face book page Future for the Kids) run by Frantz. There were 35 children there in a room on top of a roof of a building. To get to the roof top we had to walk thru the basement with sewer drain running along the floor. Again we told the story of Jesus with the color bead and then made bracelets with the children. One of our team members shared the story of how life changed for him after he accepted Jesus. As we left the kids at the youth center and the team was loaded in the back of the Tap Tap to leave we heard gun shots. The translators, Frantz and the people in the neighborhood sprang into action warning us and helping to direct our driver Osaka way out of the area. As in any large city there are areas that are dominated by gangs who have conflicts between each other.
We went to the Market by AFCA (www.partnerswithhaiti.org/afca_village.php) which is where we first meet Pastor Renes Deciere and his wife Monic after the earth quake in 2010. At that time there was a large tent city there where our team provided some assistance (see operation –go.org 2010 trip). It’s a large busy outside market and we got hot dogs to take for the kids in the morning to go to the beach. Again we had truck problems. The truck would stall going up a hill with all of us in it, so we would all pile out, push the truck up the hill, and jump start the truck, and pile back in, laughing the whole time. We then went to CHOIAS orphanage and measured and weighed the kids. We made a video of them saying what life was like before they knew our team and after.
Day 7 Thursday January 29, 2015: Beach day. We took the CHOIAS and FREM orphanage. Going to the beach is the biggest outing the kids have. Some of the children have never been to the beach or on an outing before our team took them. We took about 50 children and the about 7 workers from the orphanage and three translators as well as the whole team. We had a big school bus full. It’s a fun day for everyone and the kids love it. We made 300 hotdogs and had mango on the beach. The kids ate all 300 hotdogs. It’s a big treat for them. The day was wonderful. Fourteen kids decided that they would be baptized in the ocean. It was a wonderful glorious day. We all went back happy and exhausted.
January 30, 2015: The team meet for about two and half hours for debriefing. We then left for home. Flying was uneventful.
Click here for the Haiti Trip Diary Jan 23-Jan 30,2015