haiti & the dude.

Sooooo, I’m a pretty private person who doesn’t like to share everything, but I also know that there are a lot of people out there that love me a lot and that want the best for me. So for that reason, I want to share a little bit of my story, a little bit of a journey I’m just starting and introduce you to a great man who has stolen my heart and I have no intention of getting it back from.

I’m sure that some of you have noticed that I haven’t written about my trip here at all, there is good reason for that… meeting Jacky was a big part of the trip and I wasn’t quite ready to share it with EVERYONE yet, but I am now.

We arrived in Haiti after a long night of flying it was a Sunday morning about 9am and we arrived without any problems, all of our luggage made it all of our connections were flawless and we made it through customs and immigrations without incident. We met up with Dave at the airport who was our contact with experience mission, he is also a Haitian and one of our translators for the trip. We were there the same week as another group of 16 from Maine and their flight didn’t land until 4pm so we had some time to kill… We spent the first day at some sort of missions/church compound in Port au Prince by a pool outside talking and getting to know Dave, the culture and just take in what was around us. We were served a traditional Haitian lunch of chicken, rice, beans, salad, plantains and various sauces. It was all so delicious!

We got on a bus and headed back to the airport, the only problem was, we didn’t want to be late… not really a problem, except it was really hot outside and we were on a school bus and a/c isn’t a thing in Haiti. We hung out on said bus for about 3 hours waiting for the other team to clear customs/immigration and get out to us. The great part is we were exhausted, so we were able to sleep, it didn’t matter that it was about 100º and 100% humidity… literally. It rained a little later. but we slept. and sweat. but we slept!

The other team got on the bus and we headed for Petit Goave, it was a 2 hour bus ride over the mountains. We got to the location we were staying found our beds and got settled in little bit before getting dinner, having a quick orientation meeting and heading to bed. We were going on about 36 hours of being up by this time, so we were ready for some sleep! I guess it is safe to say it was at this orientation meeting that I first met “the dude”… I know that’s why ya’ll are reading this, to find out about him, but I also want to document my trip too! I guess I should tell you his name is Bernage “Jacky” Augustin. 🙂

Most days were pretty similar we were up and to breakfast by 8am, off to our worksite by 9am, working until lunch then either working until about 4pm or going to kids club in the afternoon. Our evenings were getting cleaned up and free time until dinner at 6pm and team time/devotional after dinner. Most evenings we were pretty exhausted so bed was pretty early too.

The group I was working with built a security wall for a family, it just so happened to be Jacky’s aunt, that wasn’t planned! The was was about 45′ long and about 10′ tall. It was built with cinder blocks and concrete that we mixed by hand in the road. It was pretty cool to see it all come together, the days were hot and the sweat was pouring off of all of us. We were working with a couple of local mason’s that knew what they were doing so that was a huge help! It was cool to get to spend time with his family and get to know some of them, it has been neat in the last few week to hear him tell me what they thought of me and the work that I did while I was there. It really is true that people are watching you even when you don’t think they are!

Kids Club was an afternoon event, it was basically a mini VBS each afternoon… Bible stories, songs, crafts, games, skits… the works! All of it was worked into about 3 hours of time with about 100 kids. We did it at a couple different locations during the week. This is one of the areas that Jacky leads for the teams that come through. It was pretty cool to see him sharing the stories with all the kids and teaching the song and games too! He, of course, had to show them how the snack worked every day 😉 Confession: I only went to kids club one day… a) I really wanted to make sure that the wall got done and b) I really was trying to avoid him all week because I wasn’t in Haiti to meet a guy. Alas, it didn’t work.

Our time in the evenings were pretty cool, we were back to our church compound that we stayed at by about 4pm each evening. We had a couple hours for the 16 of us girls to all try and fit in a shower in the one shower that we all had to share. So there was a lot of time to hang out and wait. Even if I did get in one of the first showers, there was still time to cool off and just relax. These were some key times that I got to spend time with Jacky. On Monday, the first full day there we spent this time int he evening talking and getting to know each other. Apparently, he saw something right off the bat, I on the other hand, wasn’t there for that, as I have previously mentioned! It took me a couple days to realize this! Over the next few days I noticed him seeking me out, chasing away the crazy coconut man that hopped on the truck near me, and finding his way near me during every meal. Bryanne swears that there were birds singing as I was coming down the stairs and we made eye contact and were walking toward each other, not sure if I believe her or not! haha

There are some other great moments that we shared during the trip that will always be special. We did share a dance together to the music of his mobile phone after dinner one night. and late night chats with him and his friends getting to know each other. We worked along side one another, laughed, prayed and just shared life for one incredible week. A week that I believe I’ll look back on and remember for a long, long time. Jacky works for Experience Mission with is the organization that we went with, he is an amazing man that chooses me each day. He makes me laugh, he encourages me and brings out the best in me.

I know that some may wonder how this is going to work or how we can know each other really, but the time we spent together was pretty amazing. And the great thing is that I spent time with his best friends and he spent time with my best friend. They all saw what we saw and now feel. We had a conversation the last night I was there, we wanted to continue to get to know each other and we have done that and have decide to take the next steps in furthering our relationship. Thanks for your support and excitement for us!

Here are a few photos from the trip: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10206878547743628.1073741829.1275215568&type=1&l=48e1758024