Read this stuff. It's good for you.

But seriously, it's good for you.

Haiti Part III

leave a comment »

The last couple of days were relaxing yet very eventful. Our first day was spent just taking a break from an entire week of time spent with the kids and we drove to the south side of the island near Jacmel to have lunch. The second day was spent at church and going to a graduation for a friend who got their elementary school teaching credential.


The drive south took a couple of hours and we went through some small village markets. We saw different lifestyles on the long drive as well as brainstormed many ideas of how to kill the rooster that was keeping our entire team up at night.


Bringing home the bacon… literally


Jacmel


Boy and his pup

It was at this moment that I started missing all of the kids. I know it was only halfway through the morning, but I secretly would have rather spent this day with them still.


Our view during lunchtime


We went for a nice warm swim


Made it to the other side


This is how they roll in Haiti

Side Story of Almost Death
Here is a side story of how I almost lost my life in Haiti. On our two hour drive back to Léogâne, I had the urge to take a piss while we were still driving through the middle of the mountains. I leaned towards our team leader and told her, “hey, when we have a chance to stop in the next ten minutes, I need to use the bathroom.” Our guide heard, “…I need to use the bathroom,” and yelled at the driver to stop immediately. So he stopped abruptly on the side of the road, in the middle of nowhere, near a cliff.

Since he made such a sudden stop, I did not want to be like, “Oh keep going, I don’t need to pee right now,” so I got out of the car and realized there was nowhere to pee. I pretty much had to pee just outside of the van in front of everybody off the side of the cliff or find somewhere nearby. The problem was that there wasn’t any area near us except for the steep cliff next to us. Screw it. I decided to walk in front of the van 15 feet and try to take a small trail down just out of sight of the van.

As I was going down the small trail (not really a trail), the entire side caved and started slipping down the mountain! The soil there is this deep dark reddish brown clay-like material that smears and feels like walking on snot. As I started to slide, I luckily reached out and grabbed the only nearby tree which prevented me from falling to my pain and misery. So here I was stuck next to this tree, just barely out of sight of the van and had no idea how I was going to get back up. First things first. I peed. It felt extremely liberating to be standing on the edge of mother nature relieving myself into a vast wide open space below.

When I was complete with my mission I still had to manage my safe return. I had no idea how to get back up since the trail I took down had completely slid away and I could not go back up that way. I saw that the cliff close to me had some vegetation that I may be able to use so I decided to use my climbing skills and started digging my hands into soil and vegetation to grab hold of the roots of plants. This worked! I worked my way up this cliff slowly on hands and knees making sure to get a good hold every time or else I’d be slipping down to a big fall which was made worse by the fact that just I urinated all over the drop area.

I made it up to the top finally! As I stood up in plain view of everybody in the van I had a sudden embarrassing thought. They probably think I just crapped all over myself. Sure enough, my hands, shirt, legs were covered in this dark reddish brown clay-like material. It was smeared all over.

Instead of rejoicing in the continuation of my life for another day, I found myself explaining to the team, “okay so I know what this looks like but this is not poop.” They all started laughing and made comments like, “I though you said you only had to pee.”

Anyway, end of story. I’m just happy to be alive and not dead in the Haitian mountains laying in soil that was saturated by my own urine.

The next day we went to church.


The worship band sounded like carnival music


Our team leader and guide thanking everybody

At the end of service, a Haitian translator came up to me and asked me what church service was like back home. I said it was very similar, we had songs, the sermon and a song afterwards as well. He said, “no no, I mean back home where you are from.”

Not wanting to give in to racism just yet, I replied, “Yea back in California it is very similar”

He said, “no no, I mean back home where you are from…China”

Finally giving in to racism I replied, “Yea it’s the same back home too.”

He replied, “ah, that’s very good.”

In the afternoon we went to the graduation that was hosted at a very nice hotel in the area.


Very nice hotel complete with pimp swimming pool and gingerbread house


As our entourage of white people +1 Asian walked through the crowd, I realized that the white people had a hard time getting through the crowd. They had to push and squeeze their way between people and make awkward steps. Wherever I went, the people seemed to part like Moses through the Red Sea.

Later towards the end of the ceremony, one of the pastors turned towards me and said, “a lot of people here move out of your way. Do you know why?”

I replied, “yeah! You saw that too? Why do they move?”
He replied, “well, it’s because you know karate.”

…WTF?

“…I do?”
“Yes, all of us Haitians have watched movies of Chinese people doing karate and they think you are a very dangerous man hahaha”
“Well did you tell them that I knew karate?”
“Oh. You know karate?”
“…Um heck yea I know karate. I’m so good at karate you won’t believe it”

Awesome.

We spent the rest of the day relaxing and talking to each other and our translators and guides. They shared their vision with how they wanted to grow the kids in the community to be future leaders of Haiti. All in all, it was great to provide feedback for each other, offer encouragement and insight on what we observed how they could improve their program or community involvement.

We went to sleep that night very happy knowing that it was the last night we would be hearing the rooster ever. But it was sad to know we would be flying home in the morning.

Recap:

Haiti was an amazing trip for me. There was a lot of heartbreak to see the living situation of these people but at the same time there is a lot to be encouraged about and look forward to. It reminded me of my 100 Thing Challenge of embracing a simple lifestyle and being content with what I had. I also decided to sponsor a little boy named Judens who I hope to visit within the next couple of years to see how he is doing.

It’s been incredible to have friends and family support me on this trip as well. I have been telling tons of stories ever since I have returned and still do not get sick of it because of the great memories it allows me to reminisce upon.

Until the next adventure, Cheers!

Advertisements

Written by jonewantsm3

July 31, 2013 at 1:00 am

Posted in Adventures, Church, Travel

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: