Life in Haiti means that sometimes I wake up with ants scrummaging through my computer keyboard. Or it means that sometimes we don’t have electricity. Or other times still we don’t have water to shower with. In the daytime right now, the temperature rarely drops anywhere near 35’C… with the evening low being right around 30’C. I walk pretty much everywhere, which means I’m always sweating. If I walk down, I just have to walk back up again – which means I sweat even more. More often than not I sport some sort of sweat stain on my clothing.
Each person who travels here to Haiti would go away with a million different stories. Everyone will have different experiences baed on a million different circumstances. But this is my story, these are my experiences…
I live and work at the Mission of Hope, which is just outside the city of Titanyen. We are right on a main highway in Haiti, which means vehicles drive by with horns blaring at all hours of the day and night. The campus here plays home to many different ministries – a clinic, a school, a church, a feeding program, an orphanage, and many more.
Half of my mornings start with an early kickboxing routine with some of the other women here at MoH, which entails a lot of sweat and a lot of hard work. I’m often using weights or punching and kicking our bag, while other times I’m laying on the mat and doing some killer ab work-outs. Other mornings mean me sleeping in a bit, but also sweating seemingly just as much.
I eat a lot of rice and beans, as that is what the MoH cafeteria provides each day for lunch for the employees. Eating lunch with the ladies that work in 3 Cords serves as an extra way for us to relax and talk together, while we aren’t as focused on the work at hand. When I’m not eating in 3 Cords, usually our guesthouse cooks prepare some sort of N-American meal, or another Haitian rice variety. Eating the same thing week after week doesn’t seem to tire as easily as I would have thought. There are times when I find myself craving Canadian favourites – Swiss Chalet or Tim Horton’s – while other times I find myself craving American favourites – Chipotle or Chil-fil-A. My current saving grace is having a kitchen in my home where I can eat my breakfast with the peace and choice that I enjoy.
I don’t often tire of my days in Haiti. Each of them look quite similar – waking up early in a sweat, showering in a sweat, wandering down the hill in a sweat to 3 Cords, and then the best part… working the days away with 10 amazing women, who love the Lord, work hard, and teach me a lot about life – all the while in a sweat. After that I might have church or Bible study, or it might be a down night to watch a movie or hang out with my roommates. Each night I find myself missing the ladies in 3 Cords, wishing I could spend even more time with them.
Although I’ve only been gone a few months, sometimes it feels like I am living the most normal life I have ever imagined. I know it’s changed my life and my lifestyle, and I know that it will continue to do so as I adjust more and more to the culture and style of how I live here. I know that I have been presented with the opportunity of a lifetime, and that it’s up to me to follow God and live up to what He has planned for however short or long my time in Haiti will be. Each day presents new opportunities for friendships and relationships to be built and strengthened, and each day presents new opportunities to learn more about Haiti, more about Creole (the local language), and more about God and my life and my friends’ lives here as well. I wouldn’t trade this life for anything. Thank-you for your continued support and prayers that you have given me thus far, and I can only hope that you will continue to support my journey through the times here in Haiti.