Saturday, we were treated to a visit to a local orphanage / school / church complex, Heart to Heart.
Where we were given a tour by the charismatic Pastor Luke.
Here's a peak at one of the boys' rooms.
It's a pretty sweet setup. They're currently outfitting a massive modern commercial-style kitchen (though running into trouble getting a hold of nice commercial ovens and other equipment). The resident students (orphanage) get three solid meals a day, classes and church service. And they also feed lunch to all of the local neighborhood students who attend the school.
They have a job-placement connection to various industries around Haiti, like hospitals, for a few kids upon graduation each year.
Here's a shot of where the church used to be located, before it was destroyed in the earthquake.
Emily came pretty close to smuggling some kids home. (I always have to double check her bags before we come home from faraway places).
And Wendy gives the head-carry that all the locals are so good at a try.
Then we headed off to Ted's buddy Alex's home for some R&R. Alex also oversees the rubble home operation, having rebuilt over 100 homes in Grand Goave since the quake.
And we really got the royal treatment our last night in town.
I love the ingenuity of these beach loungers... They're actually just shipping pallets and hinges screwed together with a cushion laid on top. It's one of those lessons I learn over and over again visiting places like Haiti. You can still do a lot with a lot less than we have here in the states.
Like the stonework in this house. Everything gathered locally. The multi-colored stones are natural, just what you find walking up and down the beach. Laid in by hand.
Right at sunset, Kate, Wendy, Emily and I took a boat ride out to that tiny island we'd been spying all week.
And I managed to get the view of the coast I'd been waiting for.
We explored the island a bit, which was absolutely covered with coral on the beaches.
Then we headed back to shore, perhaps a little bit late. We got caught in a rain storm right as the dark rolled in.
Totally worth it.
Day 10 - Sunday
We had to leave for the airport relatively early on Sunday, so it was an emotional morning of packing and saying goodbyes.
Ten days doesn't sound like a lot - but it was just enough to get to know all of these awesome people.
Quick street grab shot on the way through Port-au-Prince:
We flew into JFK in NYC right about sunset...
And then on to Pittsburgh and a frosty drive back up to Warren.
This won't be my last post on Haiti. I wanted to get the play-by-play out first, so I can take my time working over the rest of the material for later.
If anyone has a class, group, church, company, non-profit, etc. that you might like us to visit and speak about our adventures - please get in touch. We'll be heading back to Haiti again, hopefully this December, and would love to have others join us (or support our endeavors in any way they can).