Most people have seen something on Haiti, with an earthquake recently hitting there not too long ago, but not many people have had the experience of going there themselves. Not only that, but not many people of 17 years of age. That was my case, a seventeen year old boy who felt a need to go on a mission trip to Haiti. It took some raising money, and some interesting (most likely illegal) sleeping arrangements in a couple airports, but I finally was able to reach my destination of Haiti. I was traveling through my church who partnered with a group called Hear The Cry, and Haiti was one of their most visited destinations. I don't know why Haiti was the place I wanted to visit the most, but it happened to be the place I felt called to.
â–º QUARTER FINALIST 2012 TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIP
When we landed, it struck me right away how in need these people are. The airport itself looked like an empty warehouse, with a cracked runway, only two large desks for customs, large fans throughout, and 1 baggage claim. My guess was that not many visited Haiti on vacation. Leaving the airport was worse. There were broken streets everywhere, crumbled houses, trash thrown in all directions, and the smell was horrendous. Needless to say the place needed help.
We arrived in the city of Carrefour (pronounced Car-Fu) and saw where we would be staying. For the surrounding area it was fairly nice, an abandoned hospital with actually rooms. We got straight to work after setting up base, and there were many jobs to choose from. You could help dig rubble, help at a food kitchen, or play at the orphanages. I ended up doing rubble 5 out of the 6 days we worked, through multiple circumstances. What surprised me most about the entire trip, however, were the children. I tried my best not to have any biases on the trip, but from every charity commercial I had seen, it seemed as if that all the children were sad, malnourished, and all in all helpless. These kid, though I can't speak of their nutrition, were some of the most joyful kids I have ever seen. They all were welcoming, all were playful, and the joy in these children eyes, who had nothing, shocked me. It made me realize how badly I want to help children, and I plan on whatever my career being, to allow it a position where I can aid children. Not only were they joyful, they were hard workers. I moved maybe 2.5 tons of rubble myself on my trip, but I guarantee you some 12 year old boy who helped us moved around that much in 2 days. They Haitian people are resilient and joyful. They don't need hand-outs, they just need a chance to get back on their feet for a second. I believe that the Haitian children, who will be the future of Haiti, will be able to help the nation rise out of it's poverty in order to change it for the better. I went in to Haiti think I would change it, but I left as a person changed by Haiti