Monday, May 27, 2019

Sunday Funday & Packing up

Sunday we took the time to appreciate God's beauty at the Wahoo Bay Resort! We all had some fun and our skin show it. 7/9 of us have some really nice burn (tan) lines. At Wahoo we had fun swimming in the ocean, although it was a bit more salty than the water we are used to. There was a water trampoline anchored out in the middle of ocean, and we all enjoyed hanging out. Some of us enjoyed the cabana's as we got a little too much sun on water truck day (whoops!). Another highlight was definitely the hour and half tap-tap ride that included some pretty hard rain on the way home (good thing we were all in our swimsuits)! We got home had supper and then we all started packing. Ever seen 7 girls packing a lot of clothes into a small bag? Some would call it entertaining. But we got it all packed, had a little team time, and we were all exhausted from the crazy day in the sun.


This morning we got up, had breakfast, loaded the tap-tap with our belongings and are preparing to say good-bye to the beautiful place that touched our hearts. Before we go to the airport we are going to Peace Cycle to tour their facilities, Papillon (Pa-Pee-On) to grab a quick bite to eat, and then to get through the Haitian Airport (Please say some prayers!!)


We are on our way home to the states with full hearts and we can't wait to see the way God calls us next.


See you soon,
The Coo Girls (and Kevin)

Second Day in Cite Soleil

By far today was one of the most challenging on us both physically and mentally. We did a different stop along the water truck line and boy was this was worlds different than our other stop. Last night it rained a significant amount, so the kids and parents were not in dire need of the water. In fact, most of them took this opportunity to bathe, wash clothes, and play a little bit in the water. While some of this stop was very frustrating for most of us, we all realized that this was good look into what the Haitian life was really like. We did end up having to shut the water off and move because there was a little bit of chaos, we then went to stop 17 which is the stop we had previously done. This was not as wild after the kids from the other stop were sent back to their stop.


We also got the opportunity to do Elder's visit in Cite Soleil. They looked a little bit different than our other Elder visit because we did not wash their feet or sing songs to them. Instead we brought them a hot meal, had the pastor sing to them in Creole, and then we prayed over them. The elders of Cite Soleil were much more sick and therefore had very little strength. We did have the chance to walk through Cite Soleil which was a bit overwhelming to say the least. However, again it was an experience.


We got home a little early because of the weather, but we took advantage of the hot sun here and went to the Elite Hotel pool and caught some rays.


Tomorrow is beach day!!!
With Love,
The Coo Girls (and Kevin)

Friday, May 24, 2019

Already Friday

I truly can't believe it is already Friday, it has been hot and the days long sometimes, but the week has gone by so quickly. Last night we had a truly wonderful time gathering with the other two groups and worshiping together, although the lights went out, the sound never changed. It was so amazing. This morning we all got up pretty early 5:20 AM here, (4:20 AM at home). Some of us people who are not morning people even got up to go to Church on the Rocks (Church service held every morning 6-7 AM before people go to work). We walked to this church service and it was really cool to see the streets of Haiti. After church we came back, some of us took a small nap and then we had breakfast.


After breakfast we headed to a market along the highway just a little past our compound. We did some shopping, but the view is what stole the show. We could really see the mountains and countryside. We took the opportunity for a picture and to just admire the beauty. After we finished there we came back, dropped our goods off and headed for the orphanages.


However, the traffic today was C-R-A-Z-Y but we got to see lots of the streets today and it really shows how much we have to be thankful & how resilient the people of Haiti are. We got to see so many different things today--some gross, some neat, and some that were just a little weird to us. However, all of them truly made us appreciate the things we took so easily for granted.


The first orphanage we went to was one designed for children with special needs and to say they stole our hearts would be a very large understatement. Each one of them so unique, yet all they really wanted was love and attention. We played games, painted nails, colors, learned a little Creole, and jumped rope. Our time with them was so precious but went by so fast. We then loaded the tap-tap again and headed for the next one.


When we arrived to the next orphanage, they all sang us a song. There was a little less than 50 kids here ranging from ages 3-20. We made friendship bracelets with them and then we played. Some of us took time to talk to the girls of the orphanage and really get to know them, while others of us played games with kids and had footballs flying places the shouldn't have been (Whitney!) but not to worry it was recovered and Naomi really loved that. Just ask.


On our ride home we had a little bit of a wait, we passed the time yelp rating the bathrooms, laughing, and making jokes. We arrived at the compound and ate supper, now we are all relaxing and winding down as sickness has struck a few in the house. Praying for some much needed rest as tomorrow we go back to Cite Soleil (City Sol-lay) and provide water, fellowship with the children, and visit some of the elders of the town. Tomorrow will be tough, but we are ready to see the ways that God works through us tomorrow.


With Love,
The Coo Girls (And Kevin)

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Thursday

Just another day in Haiti--it was hot, real hot. We started melting and the sunscreen went into our eyes. We are still rating each bathroom we go into on Yelp--(okay, not really but its been a running joke & if someone comes out and tells us there is a 5 star, we all go in and try to go). We started this morning just like every other, running from our room because Kendra and the clan are late braiding hair. We enjoyed a wonderful French toast breakfast made by the wonderful women who tend to the house. We then loaded the tap-tap and headed to Daux Mains (Dough Meh) meaning two hands. We all enjoyed shopping at the pop-up boutique as they had the cutest things there made of upcycled items. Daux Main was truly a wonderful business idea.


We then headed to Teach Haiti School of Hope,a school in Port-au-Prince. There we got a tour of their school, got to play with some of the preschoolers, and really got to experience what a school day in Haiti looks like. We had a really awesome time with the children and loved playing games with them. We then headed to Papillon.


Papillon (or Butterfly in Creole) is a business that started to give jobs to the Haitian people. Here they made various handmade crafts such as handmade beads, clay mugs and beads, and other sewing projects. We also got to eat there and the frozen lemonades were a hit since it was SO hot! After our tour and treats we then headed to a little orphanage to play with the children.


We arrived at the little orphanage and were met by children on various ages. We each kind of did our own thing. Kelsey and Brittany started 4 square with the kids & they loved it! We also had nail painting, coloring, and tick-tack-toe all going on. We even sang to them (ABC's and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star--all you moms should be super proud. It may not have been in tune and a questionable rhythm but we got the job done) It was truly special the time we had with them today.


On our way home we got to stop at our driver, Max's, house and he told us all about the process of building a home from the ground up. We also really loved that we got to see his children and love on them a little. It was such a unique and personal experience and we are so thankful for his generosity and willingness to show us this side of Haiti. When we got home we all headed to the pool for a dip--cool off and have a little bonding time. For supper we had a traditional Haitian meal and while it was a little different it was awesome to experience their kind of food. We are now having a little team time and then heading up to worship with the other groups here at the compound.


Tomorrow morning we are getting up bright and early 5:30 AM and headed to a church service on the rocks. Another blessed day in Haiti, we appreciate your thoughts and prayers. (Don't worry Mom--we're still alive and well.) The only fatalities we have had are two toothbrushes--we lost them under the water and needed a new one! Oh well, when in Haiti!


With love,
The Coo Girls (and Kevin)


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Emotional Rollercoaster Day 2

For all you mom's out there--we. are. alive. All nine of us. Kevin might be a little sick of all the girl talk, but let's be honest. He is WINNING by a landslide for MVP this week. We started our morning just like the last with a wonderful pancake breakfast by the Haitian women. We had a really good conversation last night which led a couple of us to struggle to get up--whoops! When in Haiti--right?! After our breakfast we went to a small market where we got to shop some of the homemade items from our Haitian friends to take home! It was such an awesome experience, but definitely reminds us of all the hard work these people do.


Secondly we loaded our tap tap and head to Cite (City) Soleil (Sol-lay). This is home of the largest slum in the Western Hemisphere and Hope Church (Healing Haiti's church). We got there and drove through this town, I wish I could put into words for you what this looked like, but I thought of adjectives all day and none really fit, but these are the ones I thought best represented what we saw. It is dirty, there is trash virtually everywhere and at least a foot high. There was some progression such as a backhoe cleaning a stream out and moving it. However, there is SO much trash that this really isn't making a dent. It is smelly, it smells like burnt trash and sewage, but you can really see the hope in this place and the way God is working. We then took a small tour of the Hope church grounds, we got to see some of the classrooms (but not many as we didn't want to disturb the school children), and we got to talk to Alicia at the clinic about all the work they have done in a short amount of time. They see anywhere from 70-100 patients a day.....Avera totally needs to step up their game or get out of the way. We finally saw the water truck and that meant it was time to snuggle some babies (some naked babies) and get wet. We all took our turns snuggling babies and carrying water for the women. We only got to do one stop with the water truck as we had to get back to shower to go to the home for the sick and dying babies.


However we did get to take a tour of the Fleri Farms outside of town. Here we got a tour from our interpreter, Val, we got to see many different types of tropical fruits. We all then got to taste and sample coconuts--we all learned we are not candidates for survivor we do NOT like the coconut water and the texture of the coconut. We then came back and all had to quick shower. I know what you are thinking, 8 girls-3 showers- 30 minutes. It was like a reality show, but we got it done and were in the Tap-Tap waiting. Really, you all should be impressed.


We then took an adventure to the home for sick and dying babies. This was the hardest emotionally, although we could not go into the super sick room because of the diseases and the poor immune systems, we did get to feed the small children. It is so hard for me to write on this blog what we did, but I'm sure if you talk to any of us we could explain this situation through our eyes much better. After feeding them we did have a little time to take them out to play or just cuddle and love them up. We came home, had supper, and then had our team time.


We are all super exhausted tonight and are all showered and heading to bed. We are alive, well, and ready for another day doing God's work in this beautiful place.


With Love from Haiti,
The Coo Girls (and Kevin)

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Landing & First Full Day in Haiti

Yesterday was slightly crazy flights--no worries mom, we made it. Had a little bit of turbulence coming into Haiti (small drop out of the sky, again we just started with some great stories). Once we got to the guest house, we moved in, said a few prayers that we actually got here, and enjoyed a delicious supper made by the Haitian women. Some of us went to the pool (let's just put it out there that we are not accustomed to the humidity quite yet, it is hot.), while others of us went to the grocery store/pharmacy (we all learned a little about Haitian medicine--if you can say it, you can buy it). Then we did a little team bonding and most of us were ready for bed (and the air conditioner) pretty early last night.


Today we got up and enjoyed breakfast together and got ready for the day. As we loaded up the Tap-Tap (our transportation and bus) we headed out to visit the elders. We stopped along the way and bought our 4 elder friends a hot meal, cold pop, and two packages, yes, packages of water. In Haiti they package water in plastic pouches. We then went and picked up our healing Haiti partner, Katie, who played the guitar and sing for us. We are SUPER thankful as most of us can sing, but need some guidance. We visited 4 elders today, each of them a different living situation and prayer request. With each stop we handed them their food, but then we had the opportunity to wash their feet and hands, then lotion them, and finally pray with and over them. It was truly an experience like no other. We then got to go to Rosie's boutique for some ice cream or frozen lemonade. However, Grace scoped out the baby and held that little sweetie while her mom worked. We then returned to Grace Village and the kids were just getting out of school and it is safe to say that our hearts all melted when we heard "hey you! hey you" coming from the cutest little kids you have ever seen. They embraced us with open arms and open hearts. One little guy named Peter remembers Kevin from his last trip and came to give him a hug (it was so sweet)! We then took a tour of Grace Village and saw all the ways our awesome God was working in the school there, we had the cutest tag along, Jameslee. He has stolen our hearts for sure. We then headed to Fleri's for food and a tour of the bakery. Jake gave us a wonderful tour of the bakery and explained to us how Haitian people now have the opportunity to financially help their family due to the production of items at the bakery. We also ordered pizza there and we have all decided we are staying for the pizza (sorry mom!). We headed home and really got to experience traffic here, honestly makes me feel a lot better about my driving, I seem semi-controlled now! Once we got back, some of us took advantage of the pool, and then we sat around for some team time.


Team time tonight was very deep and truly made me realize just how special each one of these ladies (and Kevin) on this are. It takes a special person to come down here and lead a group of college girls. However, I know we will all come back home with a changed perspective and the capacity of our hearts to serve will be much larger because God has called us deeper into service. We can't wait for tomorrow and to see the ways the Lord will us to be his hands and feet.


With Love From Haiti,
The Coo Girls Team (and Kevin)

Monday, May 6, 2019

God's creation

On Sunday, our team worshiped alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ at a church welcoming to English speakers and Creole alike. The style was similar to Eaglebrook, and we recognized some songs whether they were in English or Creole. We felt exuberantly right at home, worshiping our Lord.
Next, our team was able to enjoy God's beautiful coastline of Haiti at a beach, with mountains in the background. We got a taste of their music and dance. Some of us took a trip snorkeling for a very mild price, while all soaked up the sun either in the water or on the beach. Then we debriefed for the night and prepared to go home.
See you soon!
Aly, Wayzata EBC team