Hey everyone! It’s saturday night and we have three days until we depart! While I finished packing a couple of hours ago, I am now so excited to finally get there. Last year, I was on the Ecuador ASB trip, where we learned about sustainable living and built a botanical garden in the jungle. This was my first time out of the country, for a reason other than vacation, and I learned so much more than I could have imagined. What was interesting about this service experience however was that we were there to learn their way of living, with intentions of bringing these ways to the United States, instead of helping a village in need. Applying for the Haiti trip this year, I knew that I was in for a completely different type of trip, as this is more about helping the people of Haiti who have suffered tremendous losses from the earthquake. I look forward to helping as much as I can, coming away with new perspectives and also new friends. As you all know I have been in contact with Lafayette alumni, Alan Griffith and his wonderful wife, Penny. They have sent me many cards in the mail, which included pictures of the land and people there, as well as a book about Haiti after the earthquake, which I have started to read. I bring them up because they invested much of their time in Haiti prior to the earthquake. I look forward to gaining knowledge of the progress there and sharing incredible stories with the Griffiths, as they have shared their gratitude with us through a generous donation and it will be nice to give back this way. Can’t wait for an awesome week and a half!
We have finally approached the one week mark! In exactly seven days my team and I will touchdown in Haiti. I’ve had my bag packed since before Christmas, so I think it’s safe to say that I’m extremely excited!! As many of my fellow teammates have said, I am also excited to get away from these “Arctic winds” and cold temperatures in New York, but most importantly, I am excited to help make a difference in the life of people who lost so much. I’m anxious about getting out there and learning how to build home. I’m also ready to make some strong connections with the CCH community leaders as well as the residents we will interact with. I’m not sure what to expect, but I know that I will learn so much about myself, the rest of my team, and the Haitian culture. I’m looking forward to a life changing yet eye opening experience.
Haiti in one week! Can you believe it? I am not sure if it really has set in for me as it has for some of my fellow Haiti travelers. I mention the travel plans at least briefly to all I come by, but despite me talking about it quite frequently, it still feels as if the trip is months away. To help prepare for the trip, I took anti-malarial medicine today. I also stopped by a local hunting store and purchased insect repellent with a 98.1% DEET concentration. If that does not keep the mosquitoes away from me, I do not know what will! I still have lots to do, including running to the bank to exchange twenties for singles and buying work gloves. Like Jiselle, I am excited to escape this cold weather we have in Pennsylvania at the moment, even if it means being hot, sticky, and exhausted from a long day of rebuilding homes. From this trip, I hope, foremost, to give back to a community that has had many things taken from them by mother nature. I also hope to be a more well-rounded, knowledgable, and appreciative person when I arrive home. I hope this service trip goes smoothly and that it is the positive experience that I anticipate it to be for all.
See you all in a week!
As Lisa and Lorre posted, our ASB team has one week until we encounter the adventures of Haiti! I have been packed for the trip since the last week of finals and slowly accepting how fast time has past since I first found out that I was going on the trip in September! I find myself forgetting that by this time next week we will be in Haiti. I am currently freezing and curled up in blankets as I type this post and am definitely looking forward to the warm weather. But I know the service itself will trump any warm weather. After receiving the several travel warning emails I found myself getting nervous about the trip, but once I explain what our team will be doing to a friend or stranger I grow more and more confident that we will safe and it will all be worth it. I am so excited and ready to face this new challenge and I can’t wait to meet and help the people of Haiti!
Like Lorre said I cannot believe we will be in Haiti in a week. Each person that I have told about our trip has almost the same reaction- they stare at me with a quizzical look and question why I would be going to such a dangerous country. I repeatedly answered with responses explaining that we would all be safe because we are working with the CCH. It was until we got the email from Amber that I realized the true dangers that are present in Haiti. I honestly have to admit that I began to have a bit of apprehension about the trip, especially when I began packing- what do I bring? But as I read Lorre’s post I have once again put my worries aside because the work that we will be doing in Haiti will be life changing. Not only will we be making a difference in Haiti but maybe we will also be able change many peoples’ negative opinions about helping the people of Haiti. So as I count the days of our trip I am eagerly awaiting to discover the beauty and culture of Haiti that is often unknown. 8 days!
So it is now 11: 23 January 4th, 2012. That means that in at this time in exactly 7 days we will be on the plane on our way to Haiti. I still don’t think the reality of what we’re about to do has hit me yet. Although I say it out loud, I don’t think it will be real for me until we’re on the plane or even until we land in Haiti. As I pack and get ready to leave, I can’t help but to think about all the things we will be able to do while we’re there. I am probably the most excited for the people to people interactions we will have with the people in the area. I am especially in love with our project and the fact that we’re building for widows and their children. I’m hoping that it means that we will have opportunities to interact with them as well. I definitely think this trip will be a trip that changes my life and I can only imagine how eye-opening the experience will be. I’m extremely excited and I hope to be the best volunteer I can be and learn as much as I can. The last step: Learning some Haitian Creole!
We still have quite a while until we depart to Costa Rica, but I’m already so excited. Trying to explain this trip to my family throughout the holidays has only made me even more eager!
There will so much to do at La Gran Vista, including maintaining the medicinal herb plot, building new cabins for future volunteers, soil remediation, and even maintaining and safeguarding a manmade frog pond.
I am however a little worried about the drinking water situation. Our water supply will not be filtered or bottled, so it’s kinda risky in my opinion. Therefore, in addition to a water bottle that has a built in filter, I also purchased a LifeStraw. Winning numerous awards, including the best invention of 2005 and the first Award for Responsible Capitalism in 2011, the LifeStraw is a revolutionary product that has been praised world wide for providing safe and affordable drinking water for developing nations.