Sorry this is a little belated post, today!! None the less here it goes!

Friday was our last full day in Haiti. We had a few things to wrap up work wise at City Soliel so we spent our morning moving more blocks and working on the wall. We called it quits after lunch and loaded up to do a little bit of site seeing before we left. We visted a souviner store called The Big Mango which had a lot of wood carved pieces and other eclectic knick knacks. Then we headed through downtown Port au Prince to see the Cathedral.

This place is HUGE. It was severly damaged by the earthquake. We only got to see one angle of the building do to it being blocked off for safety purposes. But it was so sad to see how such a beautiful piece of architecture had crumbled. The saddest part about standing there was knowing that the high priest and other clergy were still inside, their bodies burried beneath the rubble. It is so tragic.

It’s hard to see in this picture above but one thing that did not fall is the statue of Jesus on the cross that stands at the front gate. Is that symbolism or what?

Here is another shot of one of the highest points that collapsed in the earthquake.

After staying for a few minutes at the Cathedral, we then loaded up the Tap Taps and went to see The Palace.

The large dome that use to be in the center (where the buldozer is) has been completely removed and they are attempting to clear out the rubble so they can begin rebuilding. This was such a beautiful building at one time. Much like our White House, this building was very symbolic to the people of Haiti.

Here is another prominant piece of architecture which was built for a World’s Fair many years ago. On my first trip to Haiti 10 years ago, we parked at this statue and could walk around and take pictures of the square. Now, the square is one giant tent city with many solicitors and beggers asking for hand outs. So sad to see how it has changed…

On the way back to Blanchard, I took some pictures of the city and driving through City Soliel just so I could bring back a really good depiction of what it’s like to ride through town. Here are a few I captured of the people and also some of the earthquake damage.

I think these pictures pretty much speak for themselves. A lot of these look sort of hazey and that is because I was taking them through the Tap Tap windows. When taking pictures in the city, we had to be careful of taking pictures. Many times, it is not appreciated in their culture to be photographed so we had to be discrete about it. It was heart breaking to ride through the streets and see how these people live every day. They know nothing different and live very difficult lives day after day.

After returning home, we were able to shower and eat dinner on the roof. We has a special visitor come by though. His name is Anias and he is a young man in his 20’s. On my very first trip to Haiti, we built Anias and his mother a house. He heard from Leon that we were in town and came to see us and thank us for our hard work. He has the biggest smile and it was so good to hear how the Lord is working in his life. Unfortunatly, his mother passed away a few years ago but he is now married with a baby girl. The house we built, unfortunatly, is no longer safe to stay in due to the earthquake but he was still very thankful for the shelter we provided his family for close to 10 years before the earthquake.

One thing that really impressed me was his memory! He actually saw me and remembered me from 10 years ago! I was compeltely astonished when he said he remembered my face and he remembered that I help build his house 10 years ago. What an awesome moment to see him again and get to reunite.

Here we are the night we saw him. Those of us in the picture, Julie, Melissa, Jennifer, Bobby, and I are the original team members that helped to build his house 10 years ago. And Anias in the middle, of course.

Shortly after this photo was taken, a huge rain storm began. We quickly rushed down stairs to finish our devotion and start to pack up for our trip home the next day. A few of us decided we needed a grand finale to our week. So what did we do? DANCE PARTY! With the help of an iPod and some speakers which we borrowed from Stephen and Nathan, we rocked out. I hate to say we didn’t get any pictures of our horrible dance moves but just take my word for it that none of us are quiting our day jobs any time soon!

A few other team members grabbed their baithing suits and started playing in the rain. They were running around, dumping water on each other, and just having fun. It was a great way to end the week for everyone.

The next day we headed out to the airport to catch our flight. We got there in plenty time to check our bags and go through immigration. Once we got to the terminal, the journey began.

To make a long story short, here is the gist of what happened. Our plane had mechanical problems. We ended up sitting in the airport for 6 hours. By the time we boarded the plane and got to Miami, we missed our connecting flight home by 25 minutes. American Airlines (AA) searched for any flights for us to take and had to break the news to us that we would not be able to fly out on any flight, AA or otherwise, until Monday. So, they put us up in the Doral Resort for 2 nights and provided us food vouchers for 6 meals. Saturday was a REALLY long day.

Here is how we spent Sunday…

And guess who was the only one who packed a baithing suit to enjoy it?? 🙂

Had they not put us up in the nicest resort possible, I think a lot of us would have lost it. We were ready to go home. But if you are stuck in Miami for 2 days, it might as well be a 5 star resort where the PGA Golf Tour comes through!

It was a bit of a culture shock for me though. Coming from a third world country where the people can barely eat to a 5 star resort was quite a strange transition. I even felt a little guilty for taking pictures on the same card on my camera.

So after 2 days of comfy beds, hot showers, free meals, and lounging by the pool, our mini vacation the Lord blessed us with was over.Monday morning, we were able to get our team to the airport in 3 groups and home on 4 different flights. I was on the last flight which left Miami at 8:15 pm. We touched down in Raleigh/Durham at 10:20pm and we were finally home. It was good to be back and to see all our family.

It was an amazing trip and there is so much more I can’t wait to post about in the coming weeks. This Sunday, our team is going to be showing a video as well as sharing some testimonies of our trip. So if you are in the Durham area, come to Ridgecrest Baptist Church Sunday morning to the 9:45 service and hear about our trip and what the Lord is doing in Haiti!

Hope everyone has a great weekend and I will be back with more Haiti related posts next week!