We started our day with some breakfast and immediately went to the tap-tap to head out for the day. Four boys, Luke #1, Ashton, Jack, and Luke #2 (me) sat on top of the truck for a few minutes and talked to each other for a while while we waiting for the team to get ready. We climbed down and into the tap-tap, and started out 45 minute drive to Titanyen. On the way, we stopped at Mass Graves, and got to walk around on the memorial. It was sad hearing about the earthquake and hearing about the quarter of a million people who died. After that we left to see four elders. Our first stop was at someones house who’s name I cannot remember. We gave her some lotion and rubs. We sang songs and asked for prayer requests. After praying for her, we showed her the things we had brought her. Some food, a flashlight, sweetened condensed milk, and a washcloth we used to wipe her feet with. She was shy, and did not speak much unless asked a question. Then, we headed for a man named Edmund’s house. He was living with his brother, and is blind with an aching back. He is 84 years old. I sat next to him and started to apply lotion to his right arm and back. Jack wiped his face and neck while Mike K. (aka Tim Sr.) lathered the lotion to the other arm. Someone wiped his feet and we rubbed him for the rest of the time and sang. He had whiskers, so we asked if he would like us to shave it for him. He said yes, it it was not an easy task. It took us easily 10 minutes. We then prayed for him after singing two songs. The songs were Ten Thousand Reasons and Glory to God (Glwa pou Bondye). We then headed to another elder home.
Immediately she came out with joy in her eyes and hugged and greeted us at the door saying Bonswa (good afternoon). We asked if we could massage and rub lotion on her and she said yes in a very happy tone. But her skin was very soft and she seemed very well cared for. We sang songs with her and we painted her nails and seemed very thankful for us being there. Before we left we all prayed for her strength and hope in the future, and headed to the next elders. The next elders were husband and wife and hugged us when we game into the front yard and we played with their granddaughter. Then realizing we forgot the water basin at the last home so some of us ran and got it. So then we gave the elderly couples massages and and talked to them about their lives and found out it was almost their anniversary. Then some of us painted the woman and granddaughters nails and they were so thankful for us being there. Then we prayed for them and gave them food and treats and headed to the tap tap and started to climb up the hill to grace village.
We then went to Grace village, where Tim Jr. was staying because he wasn’t feeling well. He had been there since our first elder trip. When we got there, he was asleep. I, along with 4 others, headed to a open tile area to play soccer with some of the kids. Surprisingly we won 9-5, despite multiple balls to the head. In the end, 3 of our shots were made by bouncing of one of our heads or faces. After, we got a tour of the orphanage clinic, school, farm, and dorms. by that time is was four something, so we headed to Fleuri Resto for a delicious pizza dinner.
Now that you’ve read about the purposeful, fulfilling service hours the team experienced, I’ll shift gears to another perspective. I woke up at 3 am, stomach tight and head throbbing, and couldn’t get back to bed for a few hours. Instead of pancakes, I had a antibiotic pill for breakfast. After making the 45 minute drive to Titanyen, I wound up vomiting in the sink of Grace Village. I spent the rest of the day in the clinic, sleeping off the worst symptoms I’ve ever had. The point of this entry is yes, be inspired and motivated by the tales of our week in Haiti's trenches, but be prepared to experience the realities of exposing your immune system to "exotic" things. Expect to experience sickness, expect to witness hardship, but know that the life changing journey to Port-au-prince is well worth the risks.