So I am a part of an exciting group of twenty people led by Dean Wright to Haiti for the alternate spring break. This is day two of our trip and it has been nothing short of exhilarating. We left the campus at 4 am for JFK to catch our 8 am flight to Haiti, our plane, an american airlines plane, was the oldest one anyone of us had ever see. Without earphones or pillows, we twisted and turned and spent the next four hours anxious to get off. As we landed at the airport in Port Au Prince, our faces were blasted with hot air. It was 85 degrees! we spent the first day walking around the neighborhood of the HAC( Haitian American Caucus) a privately owned and funded school run to provide the Haitian kids with quality education up to the sixth grade. We played with the local children who were as excited to see us as we were to see them. We got to know our gracious hosts who gave us all sort of information about Haiti, the country has been in the process of reconstructing since the devastating earthquake of 2010. That night it rained and our tired bodies were refreshed by the cool breeze. Even though the pitter patter was loud on the tin roof, we slept soundly knowing we had a roof over our heads, which cannot be said for a lot of Haitians .
Today we went to the National Museum of Haiti where we saw the grave which had the remains of the four founding fathers of Haiti. We saw the remains of the what once used to be the presidential palace and then went to the marketplace to buy souvenirs. To say that the shopkeepers were persistent would be an understatement, We got heckled by a dozen of them at the same time but the most fun part was bargaining. What would start off as $80 would come down to $8. After a day of getting beautiful souvenirs and being photographed by the locals in the supermarket we headed back to HAC and talked to the country director Sam, who plans on expanding this school up to High school level.
By the end of day two we were asked to express how we felt about the experience so far. It has been eye opening, awe inspiring, humbling and elevating at the same time. As I sit here in my underconstructed room with a tin roof over my head enjoying the cool Caribbean breeze and listening to the barking of stray digs, I am reminded of all that I have left behind to come on this spring break, and I realize, for me this is just a break, but for the Haitian people it is left as they know it. I am beginning to hear the faint sound of drums in the distant, the RAra, a local dance/song ceremony which usually incorporates vodoo. Most of the students who went to church this morning were surprised to see the local people so happy. they thanked the lord for all they had, despite all they had been taken away from them. I look forward to the rest of this trip with my friends, I call them friends because in the past forty two hours we have shared experiences which I hope bind us together for the rest of our lives. We have come here to volunteer and teach the Haitians, but I have a feeling we will be learning from them instead .
A lot of us are not sure about our future, what we want to do after we graduate or what path we choose for the rest of our lives. We need to look around and search for what is out there for us, what is it that will inspire us to get out of bed every morning to go to work, to strive for and to struggle for. The best way to find that answer is to travel, As it is said, traveling is the only thing where you get more than what you pay for, and for that all you need is a pillow and a passport.