It's great to get a chance to post a quick update! One thing we are definitely learning here is that nothing is ever as expected or planned. Saturday we arrived safely in Port-au-Prince to discover that instead of taking a commuter flight from there to Les Cayes, we were jumping on a bus to make the four-hour drive. This was the first time GCA was trying this, so we were the guinea pigs. But it was actually a great ride, pretty adventurous considering all of our luggage was piled on top of the bus and tied down with a tarp. We lost a couple of bags along the way but were able to retrieve them quickly. The bus ride was a great way to see Haiti first-hand and experience driving where there no lanes, traffic lights, or right-of-way...we were grateful for our skillful driver; we only hit someone once! The other thing that was obvious as we drove through Haiti was that the Haitians either love us or hate us. The drive on Saturday took the bulk of the day, and we arrived at the guest house, got settled in, and had spaghetti for our first meal. After a bit of rest, we visited our first orphanage site, the original site called Cambry. A soccer game quickly ensued, along with lots of hugs and spending time with the orphans. Saturday night we enjoyed our first helping of rice and beans and chicken with onions and peppers.
Sunday was an amazing day of worship. In the morning, the first service begins at 6am, so we got ourselves up and out for an incredible time of worship at the "main church". We had an opportunity to share a couple of worship songs with their congregation, and William preached on David & Goliath. It was incredible to experience worship with our Haitian brothers and sisters! After pancakes for breakfast, Sunday was definitely the sabbath as we rested the entire afternoon, took a walk around the neighborhood of the guest house, had a yummy lunch of more rice and beans and a "mystery meat". There was a great deal of speculation about the meat because it tasted much like beef...turns out it was fried turkey! Lunch also included potato salad! After lunch and the walk, we prepared to attend another worship service that evening. This worship service was much smaller and located at the Cambry orphanage where we had been the day before. It was great to return to a familiar place and already recognize some of the kids. That night we had a simple dinner/snack of corn and potato soup. It was SO delicious!
Monday was our first full day at the orphanages. Transportation for the whole group required a van and an open pick-up truck. Those riding in the pick-up truck rode Haitian style, sitting in the back...taking every bump as it came. But it turned out, the van was much more sketchy...we almost flipped over taking on a mudslide! We were scheduled to visit two orphanages, and at each site we taught a VBS story with accompanying skit, followed by coloring sheets related to the story. After that, we engaged in what is affectionately called "organized chaos" with the kids, including soccer, jumprope, bubbles, frisbees, and general running around. We took some time to see where the kids live, as well as see the bakery operation they have on site. Following this and a quick lunch out of the back of the pick-up truck, we went to a smaller orphanage and repeated the same process there. This orphanage is one that grows corn , and the fields were freshly plowed and ready for seeding. One our way home from this second orphanage, the van got a flat tire, and we also found out the spare tire had a leak. Pastor Louis took us back to Cambry while the tire was fixed, and we were able to spend more time with kids who are now close friends.
We ask for your continued prayers, as last night most of the team got sick. The symptoms were varied, and most of us spent today (Tuesday) sleeping. We are slowly recovering and are hopeful that means we will remain healthly for the remainder of the week. If we have a chance to send more updates...we will! Thank you for keeping us in your hearts, minds, and prayers...