Monday, March 26, 2012

Working in the community

This week- end our our community volunteers reached loving hands out into the community to help the families we serve. Walking down familiar, dirt roads and paths, through fields and amongst the cactus fences they got to know many warm and wonderful people as they worked side by side with them to improve the community.

Phil worked with three young men to hang plastic on the ceiling of a roof that was leaking rain onto an elderly, crippled woman. We all enjoyed some time in the sun holding babies and catching chickens as they worked together. The house still feels fragile but for now her bed will be dry and she will sleep better each night.

Ray walked to the orphanage where he did physical exams on the sickest children; something they had asked for all year long. Later we walked the children back to MBH where they enjoyed a movie and sandwiches provided by volunteers.

Phil, Tai, Megan and Jackie all painted a new community library we are working on. By evening the first ten books of the new library were on the shelf. Dafka's Dad came by with a sick baby Dafka saw he left her with volunteers and painted with the other volunteers.

Megan worked hard to create a web site to raise money so that Dafka's Dad could start a little business to support his struggling family.

Ray saw elderly patients from the community all day Saturday. I had given coupons to all our Hatien staff so that they could give them to people who they thought most needed care. They seemed to appreciate being able to offer the much cherished doctor appointments to the people in their community and to a part of the clinic life. Ray is the husband of one of my closest friends, Coni, who I met so many years ago in junior high. It has meant so much to me that she and her family have come to see me here.

Today the young women will head off to the orphanage again to help teach while Phil builds benches for waiting patients.

It was a busy but happy week-end here in Haiti where I once again enjoyed watching people fall in love with a country so different than the one they learned about in school and in the media. There is much to learn through service and this week-end a small corps of young women and some loving parents used spring break to expand their hearts and minds.


  1. Dear Sarah, it has been so moving to follow your blog all these months, and to learn about your inspiring efforts and reflections from your sister Jane. And now I am just a few weeks away from visiting the community about which you write so beautifully! I look forward to finding small ways to be of service while there and hope that I will be able to collect many useful supplies for the birth center, the new library, etc. before I depart.

    I have made this little website to start spreading the word about the trip and raising funds among my family and friends and thought I might share it here, too. Thank you!

  2. I learned a way of brightening a dark room, during the day. You take a plastic soda bottle, and add water with a little bleach, fill. Put it through a hole made in a roof or south side of the house. The light from outdoors will be diffused through the bottle and light the room, like a light bulb. Will also need to seal the area around the bottle to avoid leaks when it rains.