Last week I got to go with a group from my church on a mission trip to Haiti. There were a lot of reasons I wanted to go - a chance to serve in one of the worlds poorest countries, the chance to travel outside of the usual destinations, and a chance to spend time with people I wanted to know better. It was an incredible trip.
Our team arrived in Haiti to work with Village of Hope, an organization that supports a school and a medical center in rural Haiti. Most of the schools (90%) in Haiti are private (or conversely, only 10% of schools are funded by the government). Most rural areas have no access to medical care (or electricity, or water...). Village of Hope has about 700 students, K through high school, and their medical center serves many thousands of people. Their weekly malnourishment clinic has saved the lives of many babies. I enjoyed contributing to an organization that offers practical solutions that hopefully will lead to enduring improvements.
But the more I was there, the more it reminded me of my year spent in Iraq. Like interesting businesses (this one is auto parts and a pharmacy)
A dorm room and roommates...
A "DFAC" (I cannot remember what that acronym stands for anymore)
Hanging out in a dusty compound, playing cards to pass the time
Random livestock along the road
Formations and flag raising ceremonies (in this case, the Kindergarten of the school - beyond adorbs)
Interesting locals that are fun to meet (who love selfies)
And a joint international force getting things done (in this case, painting and staining cabinets in the new band room, so that the school can start a music program)
If you would be interested in supporting Village of Hope (you can sponsor one of the children in their school for $40 a month) check out their web site HERE.