Well, I just woke up from our first night in the mountains of Marbial and aside from some pretty intense snoring, I slept better than I thought. One would think after a 3-hour journey from Jacmel that included a 90-minute mountain hike, sleep would be the easiest part but this was different… Bunkhouse in tropical mountains, surrounded by a mosquito net, wildlife calls you’ve never heard. Needless to say, I was happy to be on the top bunk with Dano guarding me below. What I knew for sure was that I was just a few hours into the most amazing adventure in my life.
After breakfast, we made the short but steep hike to the school to not only see out Haitian friends were already hard at work (Love you Toto!) but the sight of hundreds of beautiful Haitian children of all ages sitting in classrooms learning. I couldn’t help but ask myself how they look so great each day living in this terrain, as we struggle to roll out of bed each day living in the blessed and prosperous conditions we have been fortunate to know all our lives. They were simply so grateful for the opportunity that Marline and Daniel have provided them with.
The work started and to be expected after a few minutes of laying concrete block it became apparent that my job would be to carry block and mortar as my skills didn’t match those of guys like Kristian & Kyle and the Haitians were too polite to tell me to get out of the way. 🙂
The workday came and went with us successfully building two-thirds of the first classroom. Exhausted and soaked in sweat, Jonas & Kenault led us to the local swimming hole which was nothing short of amazing. Marlaine and her kitchen staff cooked us a wonderful meal before J.T. lead us into a group conversation to learn more about one another, our life story and why we chose to take this opportunity to help the Haitian people. There were some tears and lots of amazing stories that made me realize I was part of a wonderful team. At 8 pm, which became the norm, it was back under the mosquito net for another deep sleep.
Thank you to J.T and the entire Centra team, but most importantly to Marlaine, Daniel, Kenault, Jonas, Toto and all my new Haitian friends who have made this an experience I will cherish for the rest of my life.
This update by Steve Bartlett.