A Different Kind of 4th of July

This is part of my series of posts recapping our construction mission trip to Haiti. Click here to read them all.

A finished house

On Sunday, July 4th, aside from attending the church service, we visited a completed house that had been finished by a team two weeks earlier. It was great to get an idea of what we would be building. We also walked to the site we would be starting on the next day. It was just around the corner from the church and right beside the road. The foundation work was complete and filled with a mound of dirt. There were concrete blocks & piles of sand filling the side of the street, ready for us to get started.

The "before" picture of our first site, where we'd start working on Monday.

We returned to our hotel, changed clothes, ate a quick peanut butter sandwich or two, and headed down to that rocky beach (where we had played with the kids the day before). Because we chose a cheaper set of flights, they let us use the extra money to do an afternoon excursion to a beach that is only accessible by boat. It felt a little strange to go on a mission trip and not start working right away, but they assured us that we would make up for it in the days to come!

While waiting on the boat to arrive, the kids from yesterday started appearing out of nowhere again. It was great to see them for a few minutes & they were really glad to see us!

From around the corner comes a small motorboat, on its way to pick us up. And I kid you not, it broke down 3 or 4 times on its way to get us. That made me just a little nervous. But we loaded up anyway, put on our life vests, and said our quick silent prayers that we wouldn’t get stranded in the middle of the ocean.

We survived, it didn’t break down again, & was actually a nice ride. It was neat to see the country from afar – the little houses and towns dotting the coastline, the high mountains in the background. It was rather beautiful.

After about 30 minutes we arrive at a gorgeous beach. Beautifully clear water and soft sand. Such a contrast to the trash-strewn, rocky beach we started.

Arriving at the beautiful beach

Once out in the water, we realized it was July 4th. Here we were on a mission trip to Haiti, a 3rd-world country, yet spending our afternoon on the 4th of July on a gorgeous, tropical beach.

Some other highlights: We floated around in the crystal clear water & discovered dozens of beautiful sand dollars, pulling out a couple to keep as unique momentos. We watched a couple Haitian boys play soccer under the palm trees. Daniel & Jason joined in. Those boys also helped Jason acquire a coconut & attempt to crack it open. It took another Haitian man’s help to actually get it open. It was fun to sample, but could definitely use some sugar!

Here are the boys playing soccer

So it was a fun afternoon. A totally unexpected outing in Haiti.

Definitely a unique 4th of July that we will remember.

And yes, we would make up for that relaxing afternoon with our work in the days to come… More coming soon…

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