Michael Kunzler ~ Staggering mountains, breathtaking oceans, wonderful people and a vivid culture perfectly combined to create one of my most memorable experiences to date. Rarely before have I been positioned in a group of individuals that cooperated in such an amiable fashion, never before have I had the pleasure of doing so overseas. Though the shock of being in conditions so polarly different from my (somewhat ridiculous) first-world standards initially led me to feelings of doubt, the resilience and support of both Haiti’s inhabitants and my fellow group members propelled me to realize the wonderful nature of this adventure. To say the least, the bar has been set for future trips. I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to make such amazing memories.
Jack Schichtel ~ It is the last day. In a few hours we will be on a flight back to the States. The double bacon cheeseburger is almost in reach, although I have been warned not to eat a big American meal when we get to Atlanta, unless I want to see it twice. Funny how that is. We have spent a week in Haiti and it has changed our digestive system in that period of time. It definitely changed everyone on a deeper level than that as well. For me personally, I have seen and learned things I will never forget. The people here may be less wealthy than us but they are much richer in spirit than we are. The environment they live in year after year is a situation that many of us complained about after a few days. They never lose hope. When we were out tarping houses, Mr. Ryan was talking to a Haitian man that he has known. The man said, “My first hope is in God, my second hope is in you Tim.” The situation they are in is sad, but they never give up hope of a better future. Maybe we can learn something from them.
Emma Moore ~ This trip was so much fun. Definitely a once in a life time opportunity. I’m so lucky to have gone on it three times. Every time I learn something new about Haiti, its culture and people, and myself. I will definitely miss Haiti and all the people and friends I have made in Seguin. I will also miss all the people on the trip, it was so much fun and a great bonding opportunity. I hope I can return to Haiti again someday!
John-Luc Richmond ~ Haiti trip is coming to an end. Will be leaving in a few hours. I am very glad that I decided to come on this trip. Learning about another country and culture was very eye opening, and it helped to put a lot of things into perspective. Also was able to meet some great people. CC kids are not so bad after all. Trip was 10/10 would recommend.
Colleen Ryan ~ My fourth trip to Haiti did not disappoint. Haiti is the most beautiful place I have ever seen, not because of wealth but rather love and joy. Going to Easter Mass and seeing the amazing turnout of people from all around the mountains was incredible. When Mass was over, half of the people stayed and danced because they were overjoyed with the faith. In America, many leave before communion is done; in Haiti, they are staying for more. When we went out to Ryan’s Peak and the water source after Easter Mass several hours later, people were still going through the mountain trails to get home in their church clothes. Yesterday at Mother Teresa’s there were also many touching moments from the trip. When you put some of the babies down, they immediately start crying. The lack of human interaction for them is heartbreaking as so few nuns are handling so many children. Haiti has definitely changed my life for the better, and I cannot wait to come back.
Erin Mangan ~ I am so sad to be leaving Haiti today. It has been such a blessing to be able to come here for the past three years. Meeting these amazing and gracious people has been the best experience of my life. The people here have so little, but are the most humble, kind, and beautiful people I have ever met. I hope to come back and see the people in Seguin again. I love this trip so much, and I am so thankful for this experience.
Ben Lankfer ~ This has definitely been a life changing experience. From the mountains of Seguin to the beaches of Jacmal, I was always dumbfounded by the beauty and eager to meet the people. I think I’m more sad to leave the people in the mission trip than the actual country today because through the hardships and adventures we’ve faced, we have become closer than ever. Overall, this may have been the best spring break I have been on, but I’m still definitely ready to come home to a shower, my bed, and of course my dogs.
Michaela Quam ~ I am so sad that we are leaving Haiti today. This experience has truly been an experience and trip of a lifetime. I have learned so much about Haitian culture and the people, life in general, and even myself. I am so thankful that I came on this trip. Yesterday, we went to Mother Teresa’s orphanage, and I was so in love with all of the babies and the organization (also amazed by the fact that Mother Teresa has walked there!!), I was brought to tears. This is just one instance of feeling so much gratitude and joy for all that I’ve been blessed with. I wish I could help even MORE! These people are so inspiring, and it’s been an honor to learn from them. Can’t wait to come back someday! Glad I could cross this one off my bucket list:)
Allie Ouendag ~ This week has been so much fun! I am so happy I got the chance to experience everything Haiti has to offer. The people have been so kind and welcoming that it will be hard to forget them all. One of my favorite memories was playing with the kids outside the rectory. Everything has been a learning experience. I’m excited to see everyone at home but I don’t want to leave just yet. Yesterday we went to tin city, the museum, and Mother Theresa’s orphanage. I was so happy to learn about the complex history of Haiti. I will definitely miss everyone I have met and all the sights that I saw.
Maggie Schichtel ~ I was really nervous before I went on this trip. I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Being here in Haiti for only a week has showed me so much more of this world. I really don’t want to leave, even leaving Seguin was really hard. Yesterday when we went to the orphanage I talked to a woman who told me I would be back, and I said I hope so. She told me I would be back because when you come here to Haiti, you leave pieces of your heart, and you’ll have to come back for it. I really do hope that someday I do come back. I will miss everything here; the culture, the views, and especially the people.
Lisa Schichtel ~ As I reflect on the last week, I realize the varying emotions I have felt each day. The first couple of days here were truly overwhelming for me. The conditions are beyond belief for any person in this day and age. No family should be forced to live this way. As the week went on I realized how much we have in common…the love parents have for their children, the willingness of a parent to make hard choices so their child has a better life, and most importantly the love we share in our Faith. The people of Seguin find so much joy and comfort in their Faith. I can only imagine their Faith comforts them in times of despair, just as it does us when we are hurting. I have come to realize the people in this village have what is truly important. Yes, the work here will be ongoing to bring help and opportunity for future generations, but spreading the truth of Jesus is the most important work we can do here.
I am so proud of the group we had this year. These kids showed the love of Jesus in everything they did. The work was hard but they were always ready to give 110%. They would go without to share food with the village kids. There was rarely down time from the children, but there was always love and compassion shown…even from the stoic sober boys! I think we are all going home with a better appreciation and maybe even some guilt for the comforts we enjoy. I know I have learned the difference between a need and a want. I will definitely be back some day. God Bless these people; I will continue to pray for all of them.