Haiti – Day Two – March 26

By Diane

Six of us met for a quick yoga (standing) session to start our day. Janette and I had fun trying to explain to the cooks how we wanted to make our tea. Then came breakfast of eggs, mangos, and peanut butter on bread.Warren gave us instructions for our work projects for the morning. One group went to town to change some of our cash into Haitian dollars (or gourds) and buy supplies at the hardware store.Another group is rebuilding the stand that holds the projector and other equipment in the computer room.I’m taking up one of the stations in the computer lab while the class is in session but they insist that it is ok.

Work continued through the day. A group worked on a series of outlets to support a charging station for cell phones. A rotating group of painters worked on the exterior of the guest house and some of the interior.

Lunch today was spaghetti and bread sticks.

A special treat for the painters came in the afternoon when a group of girls gathered in the girls’ room and sang Amazing Grace and other songs in Creole and English. The Haitian girls braided Corrie, Emma and Tessa’s hair. Corrie was another pied piper for the smaller girls as they gathered around her for photos(Sara also has a following of girls who are happy to see her again)

It is getting too late to continue with details but after dinner we went for a walk and wound up at a small store where Warren bought us Cokes. The music was blaring into the street and as we drank a crowd gathered. People were swaying to the music, so Janette started a dance which continued in many variations. One little Haitian girl kept the ball rolling with great enthusiasm.

At the devotions tonight, Steve and Diane were the featured subjects from Sue’s book. People shared how great it was to be among people who have such a joie de vri no matter what their material possessions may be.

Day one in Haiti – March 25

By Diane

There was little to see most of our time in the air, but we could feel the excitement mount when Sara spotted the faint coastline of an island appear in our view. This could be our destination.

We came in low over the outskirts of Port au Prince to a view of a mass of rusted and tarped roofs. The airport was a rush of immigration check points and lugging baggage out into the hot sun where we met One-Arm Jackson who guided us to our transportation.With all our bags and a few people in one truck and the rest of us in the van, we took off through the crowded streets. Our van driver, Johnny, was an expert at weaving his way around and through the lines of outgoing and incoming traffic. Many taptaps drove by with their brightly decorated exteriors and jam-packed cargo – human or otherwise.
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D=Day – part deux -March 24

By Diane**

We had an easy drive to SFO. A little stress at finding the right terminal, but with the help of Janette’s Fiji friends, we had the cars unloaded in no time (twice). We found an efficient check-in agent who sent our 13 bags of gifts on their way (at no charge) and went through security without a hitch. Other than the cramped quarters and inability to sleep for most of us, both flights went smoothly.They even served us a meal (unexpectedly) on our leg from Newark to Haiti.

The compound at Thomas

By Janette
3:26 AM PDT

The compound has a driveway area, room with 2 chairs and a tv, computer center, three classrooms, 2 rooms not being fully utilized (guys are sleeping in one). Upstairs of that building is the chapel. In back of that building is a small garden area.
There is a bath house that currently does not have running water. Toilets flush by dumping water from a bucket into the toilet. We all take “bucket baths.”

There is a third building which has cooking and dining room downstairs, and guest rooms upstairs. There is also a flushing toilet upstairs, because there is a water storage co tai er – 100 gallons or more – up here. The faucets don’t work in the sink, but the spigot in the shower works enough to fill the bucket for the bucket bath :)

Sent from my iPad

Monday’s Activities

by Janette Saavedra
7:57 PM PDT

We got up yesterday, went to Palm Sunday service where we were dedicated and commissioned to leave. We did this at MUMC and at S/GUMC. Then we had some pizza at the Williams home and hit the road to Mountain View. In Mountain View we had some time to walk at Shoreline Park, then ate dinner at a nearby Togos. We went to SFO to board the overnight plane to NJ, then on to Haiti. We had breakfast in the terminal, and lunch on the plane. We landed about 1 pm-ish. Got the TONS of luggage we needed to haul here (leaving most of it behind when we leave) went thru immigration and customs with zero problems.
Got the luggage into a truck, with 4 team members then the other 10 drove with Johnny to Thomas.
Got here, unpacked, set up rooms, ate dinner, washed up dishes, hung mosquito nets, had devotions and team check in, got ready for bed… Journaled…..

It is nearly 11 pm here. I think we will probably sleep pretty well :)


(Sent from my iPad)

Layover in Newark

by Diane
4:38 am PDT

We are now in Newark, New Jersey. The flight, was, I would say uncomfortable because we were crammed in like in a Mercury capsule, and it was really pretty hard to sleep. Otherwise everything on the flight went well. Most everybody is sort of fussing about the fact that they didn’t get much sleep. But now we have a relaxing time here at the Newark airport because the gate that we leave on is the same gate that we came in on and we have 3 hours. Mando and I just had breakfast. And we’ll walk back and see what the other people are doing. I will file my next report, whenever I can communicate.

First Leg of the Journey

By Diane,
It’s now 9 pm and we in the San Francisco Airport waiting to board our flight that leaves at 10:15. This is a welcome relax after the hectic time of preparation and the drive. The service at Memorial and Grace were both very moving. After a Pizza lunch at the Williams, we began our drive to San Francisco. Here at the airport, we met the Fijians who will to drive our cars back to Mountain View for safe parking. Next, on to Newark, NJ. More later…..


Taken just before departure from Grace UMC, Fresno, at 2:20, March 24.
The Haiti Team:

Dedication Service

Dedication of the Haiti Team at Memorial’s Palm Sunday Service

Sent from Yahoo! Mail on Android by Ben


By Diane

Sorry I missed sending a post on T-1 day. Too many other details to think about. Still a few running around in my mind this morning. Now it is our Departure Day and our Double Dedication Day.
Yesterday, we loaded two of our vans with 13 bags of gifts for the Haiti mission. Plus many of us have gift items in our carry-ons, saving us from having to pay $25 for the 14th checked bag we would be allowed with 14 travelers. We hope none of the bags exceed the allowable size. We worked hard to achieve that.
Today, we and our mission will be dedicated at the 10 a.m. service at Memorial and at the 11 a.m. service at Sierra Grace. We will all gather at the William’s house for lunch before our departure to San Francisco to board our flight to Newark — then on to Haiti tomorrow!
We will continue to post to this blog when any form of communication allows us to do it. Please pray for all of us and for a successful mission.