Beach Day 2019!

Greetings from Haiti!  Today was our last full day in Haiti and we spent most of it at the beach (well, actually we spent most of it on the bus).  After breakfast we prepared the toys and lunch we had for the kids from OAEH who were coming to the beach with us.  Unfortunately our bus was over an hour late because it had a mechanical issue.  Our driver, Steevenson, arranged for another bus to come and pick us up.  After we and our supplies were loaded up we still had a couple of stops to make on the way to the beach.  We needed to pick up the kids and staff who were coming with us to the beach and to get some ice for our cooler.  After that, our “new” bus overheated.  A few times.  And we had about 75 people on the bus. So we were overheating too.  Somehow we made it to the beach and could relax and have some fun. Everyone changed into their swimming clothes and then we gave the kids lunch.  They had sandwiches, chips, cookies and juice.  There was a goat nearby who really liked Pringles potato chips. I am pretty sure the goat would have really liked anything even remotely edible.  After eating the kids went into the water and had fun swimming and playing and looking for shells. They were so cute and seemed to have a wonderful time.  There were lots of smiles to see today.  We spent a few hours enjoying the beautiful setting and everyone had some well deserved rest and relaxation!  When it was time to leave we took a group photo with the awesome drone Silvia brought and loaded into the bus for the ride home. The ride home was pretty uneventful compared to the ride to the beach. Marcia brought some percussion instruments and there was a lot of drumming and cow bell and singing on the ride home.  We had another stellar dinner at Jude’s and then many of the students enjoyed a roof top Zumba session and some games and conversation.  It has been a very productive and rewarding week for us.  The dental team sealed over one thousand teeth, the medical team saw hundreds of patients, the education team taught science and art lessons to over five hundred children and provided two days of professional development to the teachers in Grande Saline.  In addition to our service work, we made some special friendships and developed a better understanding of the Haitian people and culture.  This is a fantastic team of students and staff and translators and it has been a pleasure to work and learn together.  Thanks to everyone here and at home who made this trip possible.  Tomorrow we will travel back to New York and readjust to the cold weather.  Next Tuesday we will meet for our final class when the students will deliver presentations about their experiences and reflect on what their time in Haiti meant to them.   It is always hard to say good bye but I think everyone is looking forward to returning home.  After we are home, I am sure all of us will miss much more than just the Haiti sunshine.  Haiti is special, there is no place quite like it.

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