Wednesday Feb 27

Godly hands


I am writing this blog partially against my will; I mostly didn’t want to touch the computer. I have no desire to be near the technology I have been so attached to back in Canada. I think it is kind of cool how I can come from being in a state where I check Facebook every time I have the chance, or check my phone for a text message that isn’t there to going cold turkey and having no desire to check either of those things, or even be near them.

I am now starting to worry about going home, which is funny because I had no worries about coming here. I am afraid that I will fall back into all of my old habits and that I will treat this experience like a dream. I am also very aware of that fact that I will be homesick when I get back to my “home”. One thing in my life that I have learned is that no matter where I am, I can make it my home and Haiti is no exception. Haiti is now a place that I will forever call home and will certainly return as much as I can.

This place has taken my heart in ways that I never knew was possible. Being here I have learned so much about myself and the world around me that I could never imagine being anywhere else. “Home” seems like a foreign place now, a world that I will have trouble adjusting to; a world of cold, snow and independence.

Today, a group of us went to a Preschool to work with children and make a craft. When we first got there we got to witness the teaching techniques used, and they are so different from what I am used to back in Canada. The teacher was very loud and asked the children to repeat certain phrases (all of which they have memorized and just blabber out without paying attention to their teacher).

We then went up to the front of the classroom and sang them a few songs such as “Jesus Loves Me”, “B-I-B-L-E”, and “Bonjour Mes Amis”. The children also sang us a few songs, it was pretty cute. For the craft we brought them all white t-shirts and paint, we then had them put paint on their hands and place their handprints on the t-shirts. You would think that with a bunch of three year olds this would be a messy craft, but they all sat there and waited for us to place their hands in the paint and then on to the t-shirts and then they all walked over to the basin of water and washed their hands. It was amazing.

After the messy craft we gave out some tambourines and Jon played the guitar while the rest of us sang them some worship songs. We learned very quickly that if the songs weren’t fast we would not keep their attention. We also learned that when there aren’t enough tambourines for everyone, everyone will want one. For the most part the children were willing to share, only two of them actually fought over one.

The last thing we did with the children was colouring.  A pretty common activity for children to participate in, right? Not exactly the case here in Haiti. After their teacher told them the story of Zaccheus, we handed out colouring sheets with Zaccheus in the tree as well as crayons. It then became very evident that these children had never seen crayons before. Most of them didn’t reach for them, one decided to eat them. It was so cool to watch them finally pick them and start to colour on the sheets. It was a moment that I never could have imagined. It was beautiful beyond the words I am trying to express, permanently ingrained in my mind.

Haiti is so beautiful.


Oh Happy Day


Hey All,

It’s Adam Taylor. I have been feeling all peaches and gravy since I arrived in Jacmel, Haiti. It seems as though I have grown an immunity to the ‘stomach bug’ thanks to my last trip to Haiti. I am enjoying each and every ride in the back of a pick up truck plus the three meals a day. Although, the hotel is very luxurious, I find it difficult to enjoy its luxuries because of the poverty which it surrounds.

Since the first day of work until now the trip has definitely brought me to be more patient. On that very day I felt quite useless since it felt as there was a shortage of tools, the work was very condensed and there was a split between Haitian workers and the team. The situation left me very irritable that day. Luckily as the week progressed the work shifted around and that wall between us and the Haitian workers broke down letting more work for me and God to do.

Today the team was split into two groups; one went to the preschool and the last went to the work site. I went to the work site with Adam R, Ron D, and Alex where we lifted rocks which happened to come with a side of tarantula. I must have worked really hard today because I was always trying to find them! as we tried to remove the rocks, a couple of bushes managed to grow in our way. My eyes lit up when I found out I was needed to remove them with a machete. It got better near the end of that morning when one of the Haitians sold a machete to me. After lunch the whole team came to the work site where we found twice as many tarantulas compared to this morning. Since Katie is terrified of the things, when a tarantula was on the move I found it was most amusing as she ran down the hill screaming past the Haitian workers (who found it quite amusing as well). Through out the day I found loads of crabs hidden under the rocks. Duane would not let me take 1 home.

Anyway, I am having a great trip so far. Dad, I wish you would have come, it would have made the trip much better than it already is. I could write so much more about my experience but Duane really wants me to get off the computer and go to bed!

12 Responses to “Wednesday Feb 27”

  1. Jane D. says:

    Hi Nicole

    I, for one, am glad (and relieved) that you were forced to blog against your will :). I am so happy that you have given us all a glimpse into your heart, a part of which you will be leaving behind in Haiti.

    I am not at all surprised that you have found yet another place to call home.

    Keep soaking it all in, write some of your thoughts and experiences down on good ol’ fashioned paper and we will look forward to hearing about it all when you get back “home”.

    We miss you all!

    Mom (Jane)

  2. Jane D. says:

    Hi Adam

    I’m glad that you blogged as well. It sounds like the work crew duty was just as educational as the pre-school one was – but in completely different ways. Did anyone get a photo or video of Katie’s reaction to the tarantula? I don’t know if most of us would be very calm when brought face to face with a tarantula.

    It is so encouraging for us in the snowy (and I mean SNOWY) north to read these blogs and know that you are all learning so much about yourselves and about Haiti.

    We are now counting the sleeps until you come back home.

    Jane D.

  3. Jean Taylor says:

    Good morning. As I read the daily blogs I rejoice with everyone who has had a share in funding and supporting in any way the Haiti 2013 team. God is at work in Haiti; our team is helping and rejoicing for the privilege to do so. Another story that thankfully is NOT true of our church and area claims that, “A pastor got up one Sunday and announced to his congregation: “I have good news and bad news. The good news is, we have enough money to pay for our new building program. The bad news is, it’s still out there in your pockets.” Here YOU have dug deep to make the mission a reality, YOU have made it possible for the team to experience Haiti; God is honoured. Praise God for YOU – THANKS team for going and sharing Jesus. Blessings.

  4. Joan House says:

    Good Morning Team… Sure does sound like you are in the right place – a place where God has lead.. Walking in his shoes as he did in days of old…Feeling I am sure many mixed emotions.. Yet so awed by the experience – this opportunity that has been given to you… a time to give, a time to learn and a time to grow in Gods Grace. I am very proud of you Carrie and Alex and the team that completes you.. God Bless you in the work he has called you to do. God keep you safe now and in your journey home.

  5. Greg Taylor says:

    Adam Taylor – your a star pal I love you and am very proud of you, I look forward to hearing about your whole trip

    God bless !

  6. sheila says:

    Hi Ann, Katie and Emily

    Hey, Katie, have you seen any big taratulas recently! They are ugly big things, aren’t they? I think that I would be running with you if I was there!

    I know that your time in Haiti is almost up, and from what I read from your group, it has been a life changing experience. You have chosen to do something way out of your comfort level and have survived! You have learnt so much about yourselves and what is really important in life. It is not $$, it is not the latest cell phone and it is certainly not a luxurious place to live. It is the joy in our hearts and our opportunities to share that joy with a 3 year old in a classroom, a man with a pick axe working on the road, a woman selling fruit, a mother struggling with her growing family or even eating foods that you would normally not touch because of our ability to access just want we want back home. I am glad that you have seen this first hand and hope that you will always refer to these experiences when you are becoming complacent or wrongly focused back in Canada.

    As you head home at the week-end, I pray for safe travels, a vomitless vomit comet journey and a time for the team to reflect and share the highlights and lowlights of your fortnight in the tropics. Take time to reflect over the coming weeks and try to make some of those resolutions that you have made while there reality when you get back to Ontario. Easier said than done, but if there is just one thing that changes permanently as a result of this trip, you and the world will be richer.

    Enjoy these last days and soak in the sounds, smells, sights that surround you. Take good care ( and watch out for tarantulas, Katie!)

    Love, Sheila

  7. Carol says:

    Oh Katie – I have that picture of you running screaming over that tarantula. I would as well.

    You are all doing an amazing thing. I love reading about the children. They will miss all of you terribly when you are gone. But just as you have all learned from them, they have learned so much from all of you.

    See you soon

  8. Kirsten Day says:

    Wow, what mature individuals you have on this team! Thanks Nicole and Adam for sharing your blogs and “wisdom” that you have acquired!

    I think Duane is being a poor sport not letting Adam bring home a crab! (Just kidding Duane!)

    Mackenzie says she is with Katie on the tarantula issue. She probably would have swam all the way back to Canada screaming!

    Thanks again for all the blogs and awesome pictures! Only 3 more sleeps!

    Still praying,
    Kirsten and Mackenzie

  9. Kirsten Day says:

    Hi guys!

    Sorry I think it’s actually 4 more sleeps! All the more time to love the Haitians!

    God Bless!

  10. Jennifer Jukema says:

    Thanks again for all your blogs the last couple days! Wow, I wish I could be there with you all (except for the spider part…I’d be with Katie running down the hill!).
    Yes, only 4 more sleeps and we can hardly wait until you are all back and we can see you and hear your stories in person!
    Philippians 4:13 “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”

  11. What a blessing your blogs are to the folks back home. As the days go by and meaningful experiences multiply, your blogs have become more insightful and thoughtful – a God blessing!

    Nicole, your reflection on daily life without technology is eye-opening for the youth of Valley View Alliance Church. The older generation can remember daily living without TV or cell phones or computers or Sony Play Station, but today’s children of affluent Newmarket have not had that experience. Your comments are so perceptive.

    Love your comment – “One thing in my life I have learned is that no matter where I am, I can make it my home …” Nicole, your comment reveals that home is where you have made meaningful and positive relationships that become precious. You have an amazing and admirable capacity to do that.

    So many of the Team’s blogs are rich in heartfelt observations and self-realizations that are memorable and uplifting. Space limits further specific comments here, except to say — Thank you all Team members for your desire to share.

    With love and prayer for all the Team — Gray and Esme Cavanagh

  12. Karen Cavanagh says:

    Hey Josh, I trust that you have been healthy-are you wishing you had taken Dukoral? :) I love reading all the daily blogs and seeing the great pictures. You have all been in our prayers and we are so blessed to hear how God is working in your hearts and minds. Josh, I know you are working real hard and in your sweet spot no doubt. Keep up the amazing work team-’let your light shine that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.’
    Love Mom

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