Blog from Dec. 31, 2016

As I reflect on these past 10 days in Haiti,  I think of all the contrast we experienced on this trip. We started the trip by staying at a nice resort. It had a nice pool and lots of fun things to do there. The kids, as well as our Haitian friends, seemed to really enjoy it there. I think the key ski was the favorite of our friend Mickelson. He was a mad man on that thing. I enjoyed watching the kids have fun and watching our Haitian friends learn to swim. After that time was finished, we traveled to a city called Cap Haitien. It is located in the northern part of Haiti. The city reminded me a lot of Port au Prince, the capital of Haiti. It was busy, chaotic just as we expected it would be. There, we stayed at a hotel for one night literally waiting for our ship to come in. The ship was late. That was expected. Since we had time to waste, we changed hotels (to a more American type hotel) so the kids could have some fun while we waited for the ship to arrive. Everyone seemed to love the pool. We passed the time enjoying food, conversation and watching the kids swim. I must say, it was a good break away from the stress of the ship not arriving on time. Once the ship arrived, we were able to retrieve all of our items off the pick up truck the items were shipped in. That was an adventure in itself. Lol! We were cheering that we were FINALLY on our way to Ranqutte. Our bubble would soon be popped as we endured a flat tire. The kids were interested in watching the 'primitive process' of how tires are repaired in Haiti. I personally sat, practiced patience and drank pop. What a treat!
Once the tire was repaired, we were on our way again! Whoo Hoo!  The trip to Ranqutte was long. (3 hours long to be exact.) Everyone sat in the back of the pickup. The roads were very rough. They kind of reminded me of really rough ATV trails, just wider.  We were uncomfortable, but no one really complained. We all kept repeating "this is so crazy". Lol!  The kids did fantastic. It even started to sprinkle on us and of course Kyle,  being Kyle looks up in the sky and says, "God, we aren't your cupcakes!" Lol! Get it sprinkles on cupcakes. We all just shook our heads and laughed as Kyle amused us quite often on this trip.  What a kid! Oh to be 9 years old again!
Once we arrived, we were shown our room. Our friend, Chrisma, offered us his home to stay in for the night. My family was able to experience sleeping in a Haitian home for one night. The host family was very generous. They offered us showers and gave us food. We all felt blessed to have food in our bellies and a place to lay our heads. We were all exhausted from the adventurous day of travel.
The next morning we headed out to Chrisma's land where he often gathers the local children and teaches them about God. He sings with the kids, feeds them with his own hard earned dollars from what he earns from his teaching job. You can truly see that Chrisma truly loves the children very much. It was there we were able to share the awesome gifts that were made with some much love with his kids. I brought my dad's Santa costume and Bethel played Santa. The kids knew who he was and had fun with it. We weren't able to stay for the whole party as we came a day late, but it was great to meet all the kids and spend some time with them.