M-Tuck; I got a present of the best kind…a friend!
In the beginning of March I got a visit from one of my favorite people on planet earth! Morgan, one of my beautiful college roommates flew to Haiti to spend a week with me! She was also with me in Haiti in June of 2010 for 12 days-this was the trip that made me realize I wanted to move to Haiti.
I didn’t have time off, but Morgan was excited to come around with me and be a part of my day-to-day life! It was great to see her smiling face walking through customs-not only because she had an extra-large skinny caramel latte with her, but because I was so over joyed to have her here with me!!!
We started her trip off right by heading right to the pool. A few friends of mine and our ‘missionary family’ have a Sunday tradition we call ‘Sunday Funday’, every Sunday we make sure to take a Sabbath spending quality time with friends and family at the pool. It does not always happen this way, but the Sunday Morgan flew in we were fortunate enough to have had the opportunity.
After playing cards all night and staying up talking like we were back in college, Morgan and I began our week. This was also the Monday Jesse flew out; Morgan loaded in the car for the trip to the airport and stood on the roof with us as we waved good bye! From the roof we were able to see our neighbors who happened to have armed masked guards at their gate-also known as off duty police officers. We still aren’t sure why, but they were there all week.
We were able to visit Institute Montfort School for the Deaf where I have had the pleasure of working closely with the nuns via my role with World Wide Village and the Starkey Hearing Foundation. We sat and had a meeting about how we will be able to best move forward and work together. I felt it was a great meeting; I left feeling as though I learned a great deal more about the Haitian culture and needs of the deaf in Haiti.
The nuns took us on a complete tour of their facility, a computer room, three different woodworking shops, culinary classes, seamstress classes and general studies. They showed us the boys and girls dorms and the adjacent land where they plan to build over 20 classrooms with a grant from World Vision. It was a beautiful facility with an overwhelming number of programs going on, it is so inspiring to see.
Another day Morgan and I ventured to an orphanage for handicapped children. When Starkey founder Bill Austin was in Haiti last he stopped by this orphanage and fit one of the children with a body aid. The aid was giving him feedback and not working well. I returned to do ear impressions so he would be able to get custom ear molds and eliminate the feedback. It was another great facility and one more amazing thing going on here in Haiti I get to see, I’m glad I was able to share it with Morgan!
The week went by too fast, but it was incredible all the things we fit in and experienced together. One night we were sitting up talking when both our beds started shaking. We looked at each other and asked ‘Is that, it feels like…yep its and earthquake.’ Although it only lasted a few minutes and was a 4.6 on the east coast of the country near the DR border, I was so thankful she was here with me!
Another day we planned to check in with the deaf congregation of a church in Port au Prince where Starkey and WWV have distributed hearing aids, however about 20 minutes before we were to leave there was an announcement that President Martelly would be addressing the country at 4:00PM and everyone was to go home and listen. Unfortunately the house was on lock down and we weren’t able to go to out meeting.
My friends mean the world to me and the fact that Morgan took an interest in what I am doing in Haiti and wanted to brave it for her VACATION was humbling! I miss her greatly; I miss all my friends back home more than I would like to think about!! I am so happy she came to visit and can’t wait to count down the days to her next trip; hopefully it won’t have any car chases, earthquakes or armed-masked guards! Morgan you are a beautiful human being and those who get to have you in their everyday should consider themselves very blessed, I know I do!