Monday (3/3/08) we climbed the mountain at Tibukon. The New Mission elementary school sits at the peak of the mountain. We took the foot trail and there were times when the path was only a step wide.
When we reached the top we presented briefcases to all the teachers, and the pastor (director of the school). Each case contained teaching supplies and a new watch.
We didn't tell the school we were going to visit. The children were so surprised and excited to see us. As they sang songs for us this little girl danced. The joy we saw on the faces of these children overwhelmed me.
I began to cry at the beauty that surround me in this impoverished village. I walked away from the pack of children that surrounded me because I didn't want them to see me sobbing. I made my way to a clump of my friends to shield my tears. When I looked up Aaron Loy nodded and told me he had the same reaction.
On Tuesday (3/4/08) we returned to Tibukon to distribute over 200 backpacks filled with school supplies to the school children. Thank goodness they met us at the bottom of the mountain. I'm not sure we would have made the 45 minute hike two days in a row. This beautiful child was waiting in line to receive her backpack.
Cara Bergthold was one of two nurses in our group. Tuesday evening (3/4/08) we went to a neighboring village to distribute shoes. I assisted Cara as she conducted a "backpack clinic" for anyone needing attention while the shoes were being distributed.
The village sounded the alert that we had shoes, and people came from other areas in a matter of minutes. As soon as the last shoe was given away we calmly but hurriedly left the area per our interpreters instructions.
(Thanks to Melissa Leaver for collecting shoes through TRBC.)
Thursday (3/6/08) we went to Tibukon again to conduct a rice feeding. I scooped rice with a large, somewhat rusty, can. Each child from the elementary school received 3 scoops of rice in a bag. It was enough rice to feed an average family for three weeks. The leftover rice was given to the pastor (and school director) of the Christian church to feed his congregation.
This is my new friend Yaguel who was one of our interpreters. The BGM (Brent Gambrell Ministries) girls call him Muscles because he is ripped. I decided to call Yaguel by his name because he took such care to practice my name until he could say it correctly.
I love Yageul's smile. He told me it would please his heart if I, and others in our group, would return to Haiti.
(Notice how much I am sweating and Yaguel is completely dry. This is winter for Haiti and at night when the temperature drops into the 70s the Haitians are cold!)
Sunday (3/2/08) we walked down the beach from the mission to the neighboring village of Bord Mer La'Salle. Brent told us it is the poorest village he has ever seen.
As we walked along the beach we picked up several "hitchhikers" that wanted to follow along. We had such fun walking, holding hands, and swinging the children around.
Beth Tucker is a college student on her first trip to Haiti. She had such fun with the children at Bord Mer La'Salle. The house behind Beth was one of the larger homes I saw.
Many of the children were naked and had distended bellies from malnutrition. We sent groups back to the village 4 times to help the people in Bord Mer La'Salle in several ways.
Wednesday (3/5/08) nurse Jenny asked if I would like to return to Bord Mer La'Salle to assist her as she cared for children. Jenny had the names of nine children that required medical attention. It was quite late when we left for the village and the tide was coming in so we had little time with which to work.
We tried to keep to our list of nine children but of course that was a goal at which we didn't mind failing. In the end Jenny treated about 15 people before we had to leave.
This little girl was standing, watching us at the pavilion (built by BGM) as we treated children.