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Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Home from Les Cayes, Haiti - 01.19.2010 11:40 PM
From: Timothy Troxel Sent: Tue, Jan 19, 2010 at 11:40 PM Subject: Haiti Team Update
I thought it would be good to give an update on our trip out of Haiti. We were very fortunate to be able to fly back on planes that had brought in medical supplies and doctors. This was on Sunday morning. These planes were arranged in conjunction with a Mission from the Bahamas. Many or all of the pilots and planes were volunteered from private pilots in the states. We flew on a Cessna 340, a couple of Baron's and one that I didn't catch the type. We were able to get 9 from another group and then ten of the 13 from our group out in the first flight to Inagua. We did not have to fly through Cap Haitian, but they had flown through Cap on the way down. When we got to Inagua, we went through Bahamian customs and the planes were refueled. They sent a 182 and another plane back to pick up the remaining 3 from our group and several others.
The rest of us flew to Nassau where we waited for the other 3. It was to late to get to Miami so we found a hotel for the night. The Methodist Mission group even provided us with a nice meal. On Monday, we flew to Miami on to different flights. We split as our group was from different areas of the country and some of us were able to make it back by Monday night and six had airline challenges that required them to stay in Miami until Tuesday. They got back Tuesday evening.
I had a business trip so I had a whirlwind day and flew out to Salt Lake City and on to San Diego on Wednesday afternoon.
The Haiti situation.
Since coming back, I have gotten just a little bit of coverage and it is decent although it shows how little is understood about a day in the life of a typical Haitian. I thought I would give a little more information. Haiti is a place that needs tremendous help, even without the Earthquake. I believe it was 2008 where they saw four Hurricanes hit the Island in one summer. They have 8.5 - 9 million people there and an economy of about $2.4 billion. The average income of a Haitian is $400 per year, they have 80+% unemployment, and a relatively unstable environment.
They have had oppressive government and really do not have a government that cares about their people at all. Basically, in a nutshell, the Haitian culture is to survive. They don't think of next week or next month, they think of where will my next meal come from. They are steeped in Voodoo, are largely illiterate, and have a lot of what we would consider to be uneducated superstitions. Many of these things contribute to the plight of Haiti.
The areas we work in when down there are primarily the following:
Construction of roofs of schools and churches. - Our particular way is requiring the community to build the walls and then we give them a roof which is the most difficult and dangerous portion. Our teams come in which also gives the American teams a genuine taste of Haiti as we live among them. Most importantly, it shows the love of Jesus in action and has helped the churches to evangelize.
Well Drilling - provides fresh water in a country where people bathe, wash, and drink the same water.
SEED - Teaches the Haitian people how to farm with more productive and soil saving techniques.
My first trip to Haiti was in 1997, I believe. The good news is that I have seen noticeable improvements in some of the infrastructure. This earthquake will set them back, who knows how long, but they will continue to push forward.
Please continue to pray for the missionaries that remain down there, the rescue workers, and the Haitian people.
Thank you so much for the prayers, concern, and the love that has been shown throughout our trip. Thanks to all that were involved in helping us get out. And thanks to the many volunteers and professionals working in Haiti through this disaster. We have seen first hand how our God loves us, cares for us, and guides each of us if we seek him and walk as his children.