Friday, June 18, 2010

A short but heart filled trip to Haiti...

I can't believe I am already on the way home. It was a very quick and heart filled trip.

It is exciting to see all the rebuilding, construction and water delivery that Healing Haiti has been able to do with all of your support... but it was very disappointing to see how little has changed in Haiti since the earthquake. The rubble and collapsed buildings are still not removed and cleaned up. Tent cities are everywhere, now surrounded by mud. I wonder if this will be the new Haiti. US troops are gone. We saw plenty of UN personnel from Brasil, but who will help rebuild? We didnt even see the DRC in force like we did in March.

Jeff and I purchased a small guest house for our mission teams and to house our Director Jean Filsaime and Fan Fan who both lost their houses in the earthquake. It is a wonderful place and we are so blessed to have found it. It had become very difficult to find lodging after the earthquake. Many guest houses and hotels have collapsed and many of the ones left standing many have been blocked out for six month to one year commitments from large construction companies to house their workers.

We worked hard all week doing things to make it a little more comfortable for mission teams. From buying fans on the street at night to stay cool, to bargaining for plastic chairs on the corner, to visiting hardware stores and delimarts. It is so hard to understand how everything in Haiti is more expensive than in the US... I know they have to import everything, but how can such a poor country pay almost double of US prices? It really made me appreciate how everything is shared and how people have to go through rubble and garbage to get things. They are truly masters at recycling. And I became such a hoarder of plastic bags.

We have started rebuilding part of a wall surrounding the property that came down in the earthquake. That is really the only damage that happened to the house. We're going to put a new roof on the little house in the back that is home for the security and laundry person live on the property and repurpose a storage area for a part time cook for our mission teams. I was shocked at how they have been living. We purchased fans for them and shower curtains for privacy in the toilet and outside shower area. We are also offering any curtains and furniture from the house that we
won't use. They each live in a 6 x 10 room that has a bed and a piece of luggage that they use as a cabinet. They put their mattresses outside during the day to dry because the roof leaks at night and the mattresses get wet Another wake up call to how spoiled we are!!

The stove isnt working so we were not able to cook yet, but it was sure nice to to have a simple sandwich, cheese, fruit and snacks. We did buy a crock pot for Jean...he had no idea what that that he could cook with electricity...when he has it! Hopefully painting will get done this week along with some repairs to chairs so it is ready for our teams leaving on June 16 and the 23. We brought new sheets down and it was so cute...Mikail put the pillow protectors over
the pillow cases. We also brought fresh colorful towels that are stored in the hallway bookcase!

Years and years ago Jeff and I thought we would make great bed and breakfast inn keepers... looks like God has a funny sense of humor :). Oh and we have 2 dogs at the house..Bitsy and Bacon. Bitsy is super friendly and is just so excited to see you every time you come home. Bacon is the security. He has a tough bark, but is also very friendly once he knows you.

It was great fun to hop on the motorcycle and visit Elders School in Cite Soliel. We are doing major recontruction on the building and it was exciting to see the progress and well as 750 students. The kids got a real kick out of my bald head.

The down side was the new toilets are backed up and urine is overflowing...but it didnt seem to bother any of the kids... they were just so happy to be in school. The toilets are being looked at today and hopefully fixed.

We stopped at Mother Theresas on Thursday, but no one would answer at the gate. They have totally removed the old builings that were damaged in the earthquake and have set up big hospital tents for the babies. We will contact Joyce and Dale to see what volunteer opportunities are there now.

We visited both orphanages and made the Haiti friendship bracelets with all the kids and gave out treat bags. Fan Fan was such a joy to watch lead the kids in song and prayer. He is like a new person. We got an appointment for his Visa at the embassy on July 13. Please pray that he receives a Visa and can come to the US.

We then stopped at the school in Titanyen that Healing Haiti supports. We have rented a new building since the old one collapsed in the earthquake. It was exciting to see that another 350 children being given the opportunity of an education.

Carl Djovanny was so excited to visit friends and family. He said his mother Gigi kissed him over a 150 times. I thought it was interesting that he went to his old house and slept in a tent for a night. This young man has brought me so much joy.

Seeing how far the construction has come at Grace Village was amazing. The feeding center is going up fast. We received a generous donation of $60,000 to build it. God is so amazing. I worked on paint colors and Jean our Director thinks its too colorful...he is a typical tan and brown guy. (I am bring back with me the bed in the bag set I got him because it is too colorfull and graphic...we did find one online that he liked and I ordered it for him). We are learning in Haiti that certain color palattes are used for certain kind of buildings... Aquas are for hospitals, yellow for schools, blue is for police, neon bright colors are used on small businesses and the neutral colors are for sophisticated bigger business. Brighter caribeann colors are used mostly in the country side. I guess I think that Grace Village is in the mountain/countryside, so we're going with the caribean colors.

I am thankful that I could make this trip. Today I am a bit sad. Wondering if I will feel this good in the future or will I become less able. Please pray for me to stay strong and be able to continue my work in Haiti. Fan Fan prayed over me evernight. All the school kids are praying, all the orphans... it just amazes me.. God has been such the perfect planner for my life. Transforming my life just when I needed it, building a new support system before I needed it, teaching me forgiveness and letting go, knowing that would bring me peace and giving me opportunities to live in faith, trust and love. I have had the life that most only dream of.

Thank you all for loving me. And for your kind hearts for Haiti.


  1. Bless you dear Alyn. We have never met, but I have come to know and love you through the hearts of the EBC team. You have touched me deeply with this blog and my eyes have been opened to a world unknown to me. I have been praying for you since the 1st Facebook request to and I will continue to pray for you. Samara

  2. Kevin and CarissaJune 20, 2010 at 7:19 PM

    Alyn, you look beautiful! We are so happy to see everyone is doing well. The house looks great. We are always praying for you all. Haiti changed our lives forever. Thank you.

  3. I am in tears right now reading all of this. What a fun trip, getting the lovely house ready, seeing the kids and just your being able to be where God called you both. I love it that you are showing off your great head, gee, not dents or wrinkles, looks great! Love that about you, dear Alyn, what you see is what you get, it's for real and you are a wonderful example of courage, strength, faithfulness, faith, tenacity and above all, love. You are his "Good and Faithful Servant". Thank you for all you mean to so many, you have touched so many of us in different ways, at different times, you make me laugh and make us smile! Your a ray of Sunshine and hope! May God continue to bless you with His strength, one that surpasses our human understanding, may he continue to show you His love, daily, through all those who love and support you. I will continue to pray for you daily! God Bless you Alyn! With Love, Darcy Ciatti


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