Since we arrived late on Friday, we only had one workday on Saturday before we hit the typical R&R day on Sunday. (Actually, I have a sneaking suspicion our Haitian cohorts would have been happy to sit things out on Saturday, too - but they knew we were a bunch of go-getters).
Kicking things off with a breakfast of chocolate soup and bread. Yes, you read that right. Chocolate. Soup. (ironically, one of the only meals I wasn't fond of)
A little time to check in with the myriad animals around the compound, like the chickens...
...and Lucy, Emily and my newest best kitty friend:
We got all cleaned up and walked a few blocks to a building that serves as both church and school, which Ted helped build on a previous visit:
Here's Ted introducing us with some translation help from Junior:
After the service, we took some time to meet all the kiddos:
And show them some tricks (or Aaron's asking for shoelace help, I'm not entirely sure):
Playing "guess my age"...
And taking super serious photos with the younger members of the congregation.
I stepped next door to see the setup they previously used as a school.
Then it was time for a quick lunch (rice and beans, spicy potato salad, and something I'm just gonna go ahead and call beef stew):
After which we piled into the back of the pickup truck, and drove off to the beach for the day:
This beach was surrounded by coral reefs, much of which had been exposed by the earthquake. Lots of crabs, snails and sea urchins:
We never did get to ride the hand-carved canoes (on water)...
But we did get to enjoy a feast that would be amazing in any country. Fried plantains, chicken...
Lobster, with a side of spicy-as-all-getout coleslaw:
And then back to enjoying the seaside sunset before heading back to the compound.
Day 4 - Monday
It rained a bit through the night, and we woke to puddles and a slightly cloudy sky at sunrise.
After breakfast, we loaded up the pickup and drove to the site of the soon-to-be rubble house.
The first task was to move a mound of sand closer to the house footprint so it could be mixed with water and cement mix to create the foundation. This took about half of the day. The other half was spent hauling rocks, which would make up the bulk of the foundation. The sand-cement mixture serves as mortar and finishing masonry.
While the locals were putting the foundation together, we also spent some time finishing the demolition of the old foundation and leveling out what would become the floor.
Seriously exhausting work. It's important to take plenty of water breaks in that heat... Which means plenty of time to hang with the kids:
And to stare at goats:
...And to stare at each other:
Then, once all the rocks were moved, we called it a day and took off back to the compound, with a big pile of fresh mangos in our hands, courtesy of the family we were building for.
When we got back to the compound, I noticed the male peacock was at last in full display - turns out he was trying to corral all the other birds in the yard... So I tried to catch him facing me.
Which took a little doing... But I finally succeeded.
After a little while, one of the local soccer teams showed up and we distributed a bunch of gear donated by Sharp's Russell Roller Rink.