Interactions in Haiti

After being a little over a month removed from my trip to Haiti, I have told numerous stories to friends and family.  Each story is new in its own way, depending on what I can remember at the time of the telling.  With so many details, experiences, and emotions it’s difficult to summarize the trip in a way that does it justice.

In brief, our main project in Jacmel was to finish a house for a widower that lost his leg in the earthquake.  We painted it, put in all the doors and windows along with trim, and we built the roof.  We also did several orphanage visits in which we did learning activities with the kids and played with them.  There was also a water filtration system distribution day.

The best part of the trip for me was the interactions and relationships we all developed with everyone we worked with and met.  Everyone was so eager to share the Haitian culture with us and to learn about us.  One of the guards at the facility that we stayed at always practiced his English with me and taught me Creole.  Despite a big language barrier he was always excited to tell me about himself and his plans for the future.  At the one orphanage, I made a little friend that was the goalie for my soccer team.  I taught him several games that he showed the other kids and he also helped me paint.  During our work on the house, we helped several deaf boys put the roof on.  Even though I do not know sign language, we were still able to communicate and joke through different gestures.  In each case there was no obvious means of communicating, however, in the end I was able to form relationships that I will never forget.


I am about to leave for JFK Airport with Jacmel, Haiti as my final destination.  This will be my third ASB trip and my first time as a team leader.  My first two trips were to Ecuador and to a small town in Appalachia, Virginia.  What I learned from both trips was that each one had a significant and profound, yet different affect on me.  Ecuador opened my eyes culturally, while Appalachia had a more personal connection to the family that we helped.  Although I do not know what Haiti holds for me, I am confident that it while have a much larger affect on my life than any other ASB trip I have done.  Our work promises to led to cultural and personal interactions with the people of Haiti.  Despite the nerves that have been building as the trip has drawn closer, I know that they are a result of the challenges that my team and I will encounter and overcome together, while also rising to our own struggles.