Colleen Ryan ~ August 5, 2017. Today as we passed through many sights of Haiti, it came to me, like it has on other trips, of how beautiful and inspiring Haiti is. From above on Radio Hill, Haiti is seen in its true colors as an amazing Caribbean island. This country is filled with color and beautiful culture that is experienced by coming here. In pictures of trash, broken down buildings, and slums, you are not seeing what is truly underneath and the beauty that is so deep in everything in Haiti. My experience of Haiti has been a life changing experience of seeing a country so rich in spirit that I can only now see Haiti in its true colors. The physical beauty of the island is only amplified by the people within, who make the country full of distinct culture and tradition. The crazy driving, the trucks filled to the brim, kids everywhere wanting to take pictures, markets on all the roads, unique art, and most of all the immense joy rooted in the people is what pulls me back to this island every time. I have had another trip of amazing moments, and I cannot wait to come again.
Cam Mannion ~ Yesterday we went to the orphanage, and it was one of the saddest things I have ever seen. The kids there have no one but the people that take care of them. Us being there for them so so good but so hard, because you would hold one of the kids and try to give them the affection they need, and then you would go to the next one and the one you just put down would cry and cry because they don’t normally get that love and affection from anyone all day. There are so many kids there that it is so hard for the ladies there to keep up with all of the kids. Some of them sit in pee and just cry because they don’t know what else to do. One kid peed on me but it was so easy not to be grossed out because you realize they have no one but you at that time, and you forget about all the other things and just focus on if they are comfortable and if they feel loved. The toddlers were also hard, because the kids at this age are normally pretty big and can walk, but the kids here are just so tiny, and there are some that can’t even walk. The toddlers are harder to look at in a way because they know that they are left, and they know that they aren’t getting the love that they need. It is easy helping someone in a hospital that you know when you finish helping them they have a family to take care of them and love them. But the sick kids here don’t have that. All they have are the people who help out, and the people like us that come to visit. It was an amazing experience to be there to help those kids.
Erin Mangan ~ April 6, 2017. Yesterday we went to three different places around Port-Au-Prince. We went to a place called Tin City. There were a ton of shops with amazing artwork in them. Then we went to a restaurant with an incredible view of the island. Lastly, we went to the orphanage. The orphanage is so hard to go to, but I love being able to see all the kids. Showing love to kids who only have the people who take care of them is an experience I will never forget. I am really sad to be leaving Haiti. I wish I could spend more time here with such amazing people. I have learned so much about this country, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. I love you all so much and I can’t wait to see you! 🙂
Gina Vicini ~ Out of the three places we went to yesterday, the orphanage will definitely stick with me the most. The first room we went in had the sickest babies. When I picked up one of the baby girls, I could feel all of the bones in her back but she still would smile up at me. The worst part of the orphanage would be when you would put the kids down and they would just wail because it could be the last connection they would get with a person for that day besides getting their diaper changed. When we let the toddlers run out on the little playground, they were so happy but would also scream when we had to go. This spring break has been extremely eye opening and will be one I will never forget.
Andie Johnson ~ Yesterday we went to tin city, which was cool to see different peoples artwork, a really nice lunch with a view, and Mother Teresa’s orphanage. At the orphanage, the kids would cling to you due to the lack of touch they receive. Most of the kids were sick, whether it be fevers from the heat or swelled tummies from malnutrition. Being able to meet them and spend time giving them some of the attention they deserve made me both grateful and sad at the same time. Through this whole trip, I have learned to take nothing for granted, like ice and mirrors and paved streets, and to find joy in the little things in life, rather than being greedy and constantly wanting more and more material things. Though my time here has been short, I am sure of the difference we have made on these people, and I am hopeful to see this beautiful country again.
Emma Moore ~ Today is the last day we are in Haiti. I’m going to miss it so much but I’m very excited to be going home. I’m going to miss this country and all of the people who live in it. I really would like to come again and see all of the amazing people and my friends who live in it.
Abby Wila ~ Thursday, April 6, 2017. Today is the last day in Haiti. I got to sleep in and after that I showered. Now we are playing Peon. I have enjoyed this trip a lot and got to meet a lot of people. I enjoyed experiencing different cultures and trying new things. This has changed my view on my life and the world we live in. I am very glad that I got to go on this trip of a lifetime and excited to travel more!
Cassidy Triestram ~ Today is the last day in Haiti, and this week feels like it flew by. Although I am going to miss the views, I can’t wait to get into my own bed and get a good night sleep for the first time in a week in a half. Be back soon!!!!!
Margo Milanowski ~ Last night, our group sat atop one of the roofs of the guest house in Port au Prince, enjoying the breeze and cool evening air, listening to music. We were being teens, talking and laughing and fighting over what songs to play, until the power of our section of city cut out. For a few seconds, the only light came from hazy moon through clouds, and everything else was dark. The generators in the guest house kicked on, and our light came back, but the surrounding streets remained dark. We heard yelling in the streets, and our minds jumped to night conclusions, that maybe the power was cut, there was a riot, who knows. People were probably just yelling because the power was out. We assumed this was unusual, but in truth, it’s not. In Haiti, the power may go out. There might not be enough food to feed your children for dinner, that night or the next night or the night after. Success might be making it past infancy. We get to ride a plane home to our cozy beds and lives after a few days without showers, but here, the lifestyle does not end at the close of the week.