From volunteer Deidre Lynn
Being a first-timer on the Hope 2 Haiti venture, I really had no idea what I was getting into today as we gathered at the airport to board the flight to Port-au-Prince. I was overcome with emotions ranging from excitement to fear, gratitude to awe. My catchphrase all along has been “WE’RE GOING TO HAITI!!!”, and it was all about to come true.
The descent into Haiti was incredible. We all gathered again to board buses for the 3+ hour trek to Jacmel. Cyrio, our guide from Tour Haiti, shared with us some history of this extraordinary place, learned all our names on the first try (impressive!), and taught us a lot about current Haitian culture and rituals.
The sights were overwhelming. We went through tent cities, a market area, and through some hills making our way to Jacmel. As someone who has never left the US/Canada, it was unlike anything I’d ever seen. The living conditions were very poor, and I could hear other first-timers on the bus exclaiming their gratitude for the things we take for granted at home.
My first taste of Haitian food… Not bad! I enjoyed the beans and rice. Misha warned us against salad or other uncooked items, so I chose to heed his advice there. At dinner, Cinde gave a speech that brought tears to my eyes so I must say it here: Thank you Lisa and Philip!
After dinner, the wonderful Cinde earned the title as the best dance instructor I’ve ever had. We wobbled, line danced, and did the Macarena like never before!
And now I sit to the side for a moment to reflect… I cannot wait to meet the children, celebrate the JCC, and have more life-changing moments that I know I’ll carry with me back home to Michigan. I’m so overtaken with thankfulness to be a part of this group of amazing people.
To be honest, I’m having a hard time writing this as I’m still processing everything, so I’ll close it here by saying “WE’RE IN HAITI!!!”