The easiest way to explain today is restoration. After a week of giving our hearts and minds to helping Haitians, today was truly a sabbath day. We were welcomed into a Haitian church this morning and were lucky enough to be given head phones with English translation so we could understand and be a part of the message. The church was open to air on either side of the seating area. The left wall had tarps hanging down to shield us from the sun, and the right was open to beautiful palm trees. We all wished we could bring a few palm trees back to Eagle Brook!
After church we loaded up in to the top top and started an hour and a half journey to the beach. We were tossed around like bouncing balls, swerving and weaving through the craziest traffic you have ever seen; don't worry we took a video. We only hit one motorcycle and after both drivers exchanged glances, we kept driving as if nothing had happened. (Insurance cards don't exist here and surprisingly no one gets mad when you bump into them. What?!)
Soon enough we arrived at the beach and were blown away by its beauty. The mountains outlined our view of the bright blue turquoise ocean. The bright pink Haitian flowers outlined the beach hotel and there was a DJ on the edge of the beach blasting tropical remixes. We enjoyed fresh coconuts and frozen drinks. Some of us went snorkeling and others rented jet skis. We laughed, swam, and thoroughly enjoyed the day of bonding with each other. It was a blessing to experience the other side of Haiti to round out our view and understanding of the country.
While the day was amazing, we couldn't help but feel a twinge of guilt and confusion. Just 16 hours before we had been in the poorest slums in Cite Soleil where children were starving and families were thirsty for clean water. How did we deserve to be on this luxurious beach? This thought sparked meaningful conversations between us of how we can continue to give back to Haiti once we return to our usual lives in the US. Some of us want to sponsor children to attend school, others are interested in continuing to provide clean water.
Whichever way we choose to serve Haiti, we can make a larger difference together.
The Eagle Brook Anoka Team