Mary Ann Vicini ~ It is so hard to put into words the sights, sounds, smells and feelings that this trip invokes within you. I appreciate the work that Tim puts into this trip to give the team members a multi facetted experience in the hustle and bustle of Port Au Prince to the peaceful agricultural living in the mountains at Seguin. Haiti is a complex country, and I walk away with a different perspective and appreciation of the opportunities that we take for granted every day in the USA. The kids on this trip were amazing, it gives me great hope for the future!
Michael Petrella ~ It has been another amazing trip to Haiti. This is my seventh trip. and I love watching the first time trip goers as much as seeing old friends that I now have in Seguin. It was great to see Roger, our blind friend, and help build two walls in front of his house to divert water away when the heavy rains come. We also arranged for his latrine and cooking house to be rebuilt after the last hurricane washed it away, and that construction has already started. We also purchased a box spring, mattress and frame for him. He had been sleeping on a bamboo matt on the floor. He was so happy he pulled Tim and me onto the bed and made us lay with him for a picture. The kids all had so much fun interacting with the Seguin kids, braiding hair, playing soccer, learning each other’s language and dancing to music. Many cornstalk houses have tarps over them now, and many families now will have clean water due to the new water filters the kids delivered and taught them how to use. I love to share this trip with daughter each year, and I already can’t wait wait to come back.
Ed Moore ~ My daughter came last year, and I thought I had a good perspective for what this trip will bring. Looking at a picture will not prepare you for the sights and sounds of living in Haiti for a week. Mountains beyond mountains best describe the scenery but words would be hard to describe the people… Very caring, honest people that love life and have so much to give. As Baby said taking a picture with the girls and a big grin on his face, ”This is life!” As my first mission trip it was fun making friends and getting to know the other chaperones. Working side by side and driving around Haiti we had many great laughs about the kids and little things that happened during the day. I will miss Sequin.
Laura Mangan ~ We spent a few hours this afternoon at St Mother Teresa’s orphanage in Port au Prince. I was not prepared for the emotional response of this experience. Each baby so hungry for human touch and love. We couldn’t take any photos during our visit, so I tried to capture an image in my mind of each of our kids as they cradled these beautiful babies – each smile, laugh, coo, or just head on a shoulder was breathtaking.
Abby Willa~ Tuesday, April 4, 2017. We packed up and left the rectory, saying our final goodbyes to our new friends. Took some pictures and hugged and thanked Father Gilbert to which he replied “ok.” I love that dude. He was so welcoming and always so happy to see us. We then started the drive down to the beach in Jacmel. It was my first time in the ocean, and I LOVED it! The water was so warm, and the waves were really fun to jump in. We also got bombarded by vendors on the beach. There was no one on the beach when we arrived, but everybody and their brother found out “blancs” were there. Thankfully, they were easy to barter with, so I obviously snagged some souvenirs. I also got very tan and very burnt. We then arrived back at the Guest House and everyone hopped on the wifi (dang millennials). Camy and I played dominoes way too late, but it was fun.
Wednesday, April 5, 2017. Today we started our day by going to Tin City (or Tin Town as I called it) and shopped around for a bit. It was so cool seeing all the vendors creating sign after sign and asking us to come in their shop. They had some pretty cool stuff there, but a lot of it would have been too hard to fly back to MI 😦 Again, they were also easy to barter with. From there we took a long hot ride in the 15 passenger van up to Radio Tower. We passed by the rich neighborhoods of Haiti and talked about our communal house we were going to build. There were some beautiful houses there! We also got to see the famous colored houses of Haiti. Once we got to the restaurant at Radio Tower, the view was incredible. stunning. unreal. You could see the coastline and the mountains and the airport and all the different living areas of Haiti. It was so pretty! I ordered chicken tenders and Arizona tea and enjoyed the view. Then we went to the orphanage. It was so sad but so rewarding because they never get that much attention, but giving them a smile and a laugh meant the world to them. It was so hard to put them down. Then we stopped at the grocery store and ate ice cream and bought some Haitian specialties (I’ll show you when I get home, mom and dad). It was very inexpensive, and I even got some Goudes back…Successful last day. See you in GR!!
Cassidy Triestram ~ Today was great, we went to a large market place called Tin City, and I bought a few things and bartered quite a bit. Some of the store owners were difficult to barter with, but I made a few deals. A few of us met a guy who called himself Mr. Gooddeal or Mr. Goodprice, I can’t remember. He even told us that he had better deals than Walmart. After that we went to a restaurant that had an amazing view of the entire city. I have to admit, the chicken tenders and fries was a nice change from quinoa, plantains, and canned chicken/tuna. After lunch, we went to the orphanage where I held a ton of kids. The most heartbreaking part was when I put the babies down, and they would begin to sob. One of the babies I held peed on me and another one drooled all over my shoulder. After the babies, we went outside to play with the toddlers. One of the kids kept coming over to me and asking me to hold him. He gave me several leaves and refused to leave my side. After that I went into another baby room where Joey asked me to “hold this kid because he won’t let go of me”, and then after I took the kid found out that he just forgot which crib he got the kid from and wanted me to take care of it so he didn’t have to. Even after getting peed on and overheating in the car for hours, it was a good day. Even though I never want to leave, I can’t wait to get back to my own bed, take a shower, and flush a toilet. Less than 24 hours to go!!!!!