On the third day I helped with the feeding ministry and my job was to peel and then crush garlic cloves – it was awesome. The aroma the garlic was producing made me extremely hungry for something with garlic – but alas, the garlic was for the kids food. Our lunch was spam sandwiches with ketchup and lettuce and fried plantains. I actually didn’t hate it. I did, however, hate the spicy coleslaw that I didn’t realize was spicy until it was burning a hole in my esophagus. Haha. Other activities that day included playing with and watching the kids, teaching them songs and making them feel loved 🙂

Here are a few photos…

The week went by way too quickly. Just when I was starting to feel like I had settled in and felt comfortable, we were on our last full day. We got a huge open air bus to take to the beach, and filled it so full of people that some of us decided to ride in the luggage rack on top of the bus. I was one of those smart people. Ducking for power lines and branches is really fun.

The beach in Jacmel was absolutely stunning. I felt like I was in Hawaii or Jamaica or some place where there should be 5 star luxury hotels dotting the coast. But there isn’t. In fact – there’s nothing but lush palm tree lined coast with grass huts for gathering in the shade. Artists sell paintings and carvings to tourists and families bring food and soccer balls for a day of relaxation. No pools, no rentals, no scantly clad people, no behemoth hotels or planes flying overhead advertising anything. The water was warm and the waves were small and non-threatening. Many of us went out for a swim and just wadded in the water far off the coast for a long time before we reluctantly swam back to shore. We all got pretty bad sunburns, but it was well worth it. We ate under the shade of the palm trees and shared stories and memories from the trip.

On our way back to the airport on our last day, the drive made a lot of us sick. Including the guy in front of me, who had to lean over me to puke out the window at one point. It was pretty epic. Thankfully my friend Brian had some ginger and that seemed to keep my sickness at bay. Since we drove through most of Port-au-Prince at nighttime before it was even more shocking to see it in daylight. The devastation is remarkable. Even the main road through Port-au-Prince is still torn up and almost impassable in some areas. You see normal citizens with wheelbarrows full of rocks trying to fill in the potholes themselves.

I left Haiti with a feeling not of sadness, but of regret, that I couldn’t stay longer. That I couldn’t do more to help. That I didn’t do enough. So hopefully in some small way the photos I took help. Maybe they will inspire the one or two people who read this blog to donate to the ministry I went with. Resoration Ministries and Conduit Mission have almost no overhead, unlike the big relief orgs like Red Cross. More than 90% of the money donated goes directly to aid and relief, not advertising or building or administrative costs. If you’d like to donate it’s very easy – just go here and give whatever amount you can. ANY amount helps.

Thanks so much for reading 🙂