Saturday, June 27, 2015

End to a great team

Thursday was the last day for the group from Maryland. They worked a half day in the village and then traveled to Guatemala City after lunch to stay overnight for their early flight back home on Friday.

The VBS went really well and ended with a soccer game - USA vs. Guatemala. This week team USA was able to pull out a win, although they may have had an unfair advantage when team Guatemala disappeared little by little to go and eat hotdogs.

The construction team worked on Eduardo's house in the morning and then joined team USA at the school in Ixtacapa.

I had a great time with this group and loom forward to working with them in the future.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Another week in Guatemala

On Sunday the team visited the Mayan ruins of the city of Iximché. It was one of the last Mayan cities before the Spanish conquest. A tour guide explained the history of the site and showed us the foundations of what once was an imperial city.

On Monday they started work again in the village. The construction team poured the floor in Dulce's house and then continued work on Eduardo's house in the afternoon. 

VBS started a new week with a morning and afternoon session. The team members are really enjoying getting to know the kids and the people they are working with.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Weekend plans

Yesterday the team worked hard on construction getting the floors of Dulce's house ready to pour the cement next week. The had to dig a trench where some pipes will go and then level out the floors with dirt. In the afternoon they returned to Eduardo's house and finished pouring the foundation. They all felt a great sense of accomplishment at seeing phase one of the house complete.

The VBS had their last session with the pre-school kids in the morning. They really have gotten to know many of the kids and are sad that yesterday was the last day. Today is the final day of VBS in Desierto and we will celebrate with hotdogs and cake :)

In the afternoon the team will travel up to a town called Zunil and visit some natural hot springs.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Each day gets better

The condtruction crew poured the foundation for the house today. They got to mix the cement by hand and then carry the buckets over to the trench they dug that had been filled with rocks and pour in the cement. Tomorrow they will let the foundation dry and pour the floor for another PID house that was started this year.

The VBS crew had a great day! The kids really enjoyed the story of fedding the 5,000 and making the basket craft. The team members are building relationships with the kids and really enjoying themselves.

This afternoon Gale, Julie, Flor and I tested out some recipes of special cookies that we will be using for kids who are malnourished. They are high-fat and high-calorie cookies that will help them get back to a healthy weight quickly. We had 4 different recipes and then had kids come in for a taste test.

Team of Nurses departs PID Haiti

This past week was a full one!  The medical team did a mobile clinic everyday, alternating who stayed back at PID to see patients and who went out to the surrounding towns. Last Thursday and Friday the mobile clinic visited Molhea, the town on the dump. Saturday was Canaan mobile clinic day, and on Monday and Tuesday the team did mobile clinics at Bigarad. Those were probably the toughest days due to intense heat and the overwhelming number of patients. The nurses were composed and they cared for many, many sick people.

Last Sunday when the team went on their excursion, I took a walk to our friend Saintilia's house to visit her baby grand-daughter. When I arrived, the family had dozens of photographs from many years of Santilia and her family posing with PID team members spread out on their front porch. It was sweet to see them remembering these team members through the pictures, some who have come every year, and some who came only once. They remembered little details about the people, like how much this person liked coffee, or whose house this person's team helped build. They pointed out a picture to me of one of the team members from this current trip also, holding her sponsor child.

A photograph similar to the ones I saw at Saintilia's house.
I am sharing that little story on the blog because it is important for you to know, if you have come down in the past on a trip, those of us in Haiti do not soon forget you. :)

Then, on Monday afternoon we had our first, good, hard rain. After it started to come down, I peeked out my front door to see people from the team standing in the rain soaking it in. Then they played soccer with the cook's daughter despite (or because of) the deluge.
The view I saw peeking out my front door.

The team in the rain.

The last members of the team left PID this morning. I have to say they were a very talented and diverse one. The team not only provided medical care, but a carpenter on the team spent what seemed like 10 hours a day building many useful pieces for the clinic. At final debrief they shared with me how they were challenged, moved and encouraged by what they saw in Haiti and at PID.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Pom poms, lion masks and river rocks

Today's VBS program went a lot smoother. We planned extra crafts to fill in time. The kids love playing with the team members. Especially whacking them with pool noodles. Today's Bible lesson was Daniel in the Lion's Den and the kids all made lion masks. They spent a long time decorating their masks and putting on many details. Alejandra started signing up kids for next week's VBS in Ixtacapa and I can tell that it is going to fill up fast!
Gale and some of the former leaders and mow just extra helpers made some yarn pom poms for a craft later on in the week. They made a total of 96 pom poms!
The construction crew worked hard all day transporting gravel and rocks in wheelbarrows to the construction site. Soon they will be able to start the foundation for Eduardo's house.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

First day in Ixtacapa

The team went to the village today and started working.
The VBS had a small program in the morning. The kids enjoyed listening to the guitar and doing the craft. They all got to decorate a T-shirt with sharpie markers. The afternoon VBS session of 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders got very creative with their shirts. It was a bit of a challenge in the afternoon between the torential rain and the political campaign going on outside the school in Desierto this afternoon. The team did great playing with the kids.
The construction team starting digging the foundation for Eduardo's house and brought in a lot of the materials. The mother of the family was even out helping clear some of the land to make it easier for the team to pass through with a wheelbarrow.