Saturday, September 11, 2010

Saturday in Haiti - A Waste?


It is the end of our third day here.

I am sitting outside on a patio in the dark at our hotel and I can hear the lap of the ocean on the sandy shore just below me. The buzz of crickets emanates from the tops of the palm trees and I am comfortably with bare feet, shorts and a shirt made for tropical weather.

Today, an American might have felt useless. We spent most of the day waiting for construction materials to be delivered. They were supposed to all arrive in the morning and at noon there were still no supplies. We had ordered 300+ bags of cement and enough brick to finish the walls of the desperately needed orphanage building, so we waited, and waited. “Hurry up and wait” is a common theme on mission trips. “Welcome to a day in the life of Haiti” was the non-empathetic response of a more seasoned missionary.

Who is to say that our agenda was better then what we ended up doing?

We did gardening on the grounds. Be built pathways in the mud. We gave the girls pedicures and manicures. We passively assisted with the slaughter and butcher of two goats. We held sick babies and tried to make them comfortable. We taught the kids Bible stories and baseball. We spent time with the orphanage staff, the pastor, and his family. We learned Creole and taught English. We made bubble blowers and bubbles with over 100 kids. We hung out as a team. We had meaningful conversations. We watched a torrential rainstorm move in and engulf us, forcing us to see the flooding problems that they have to deal with – watching the ladies wade in a kitchen of mud and water as they cooked the goats. We handed out soap to the kids as they showered under the eaves.

A wasted day waiting for materials that didn’t arrive until minutes before the rains? I don’t think so. I believe that today we did what we were supposed to do.

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