Wednesday was a good but long, hot, & tiring day. Maybe the hottest day I’ve ever been out working in. But…we made it.
The 2nd house is off the main “highway” (which is the busiest area of town with shops, buses, big trucks, and moto taxis), but the house was about a quarter mile back, off a little dirt path. It felt like a small village, yet right next to everything. It was kind of nice back there. A little quieter with lush vegetation and a lot of space. This house is on a little square of land.
Right next to the road, & the path back to the house, there is a big building that collapsed in the earthquake & looks like it’s never been touched. This big, concrete building just flattened. Stephen said that if there were people inside, they’re probably still in there, entombed in that rubble. They just don’t have the heavy equipment to take care of all of the rubble. It was really sad to walk by every time we came and went. A stark reminder of what happened all across this country, and what the people are still dealing with.
One thing that made this day’s work even more of a challenge was the fact that the materials (the blocks & sand) were dumped off beside the road and had to be carried down a steep incline and along a small, bumpy, muddy path that crossed a little creek a couple of times. Nothing like an added challenge.
Miraculously, when we got there in the morning, someone had already taken a bunch of the block & sand down there. We have no idea who or how, but we said it was angels looking out for us!! It was a definite help but there was still much more to bring down. The guys spent a good chunk of the morning going back & forth, up & down, with wheelbarrows hauling all of it. That was really hard work & they did such a great job. We ladies sifted sand to use in the mortar & then would go spread the mortar for the blocks being laid in.
At this site we had Jean Pierre & Eli as our head boss & boss #2. Then there was a third guy from the church that showed up & just worked as a volunteer (Sonic or Soniq). We were very encouraged by him being there to help, without getting paid. That was great to see!
Even with the extra hauling, we got work done on this house quickly. Jean Pierre was a very good boss. He was efficient & quick. But the heat was killer that day! Worse than the other days. It drained us quickly & started taking its toll. After lunch it was pretty unbearable. The last hour was a really long one. We couldn’t have worked much more & were so ready to go when 3pm rolled around. But we made it…
“You will not succeed by your own strength or by your own power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord All-Powerful.” Zechariah 4:6
“Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men.” Ephesians 6:7
A couple more random things:
It’s amazing how attached you can get to some people after only a couple of days. We had only spent 2 days at the other site, but on this day, moving to the new location, we missed those other kids terribly. We had started building relationships with them & were sad to move on. But, even down there off the beaten path, there were plenty of other kids to play with (more on them later).
I don’t think I’ve mentioned the trash & the ditches that run through the town. They left a big impression on us. There is a huge lack of infrastructure in Haiti, and that applies to a complete lack of trash collection or sanitation. Trash everywhere. We’d give candy to the kids and they’d just throw the wrapper on the ground. Adults would do it too; that’s where they learn it. And those ditches would also carry nasty water – from peoples showers, bathrooms, rain water, everything. Kids would just be running around barefoot across it all. It’s all they know. It was so sad.