I figured I should probably do a trip update since I have not done one for awhile. This last month has been a roller-coaster, to say the least. Caleb Smith (who was coming to Haiti with me) passed away on March 24th. Caleb was the most loving and caring person I have ever known. He had such a big heart and always went out of his way to help others. Caleb had once asked me why I had chosen him to join me in Haiti. Well .. there are so many reasons ! Caleb was willing to take on any challenges, no matter how dangerous or crazy they were. He was prepared to do anything he had to do to go to Haiti and to make sure we helped as many people as we possibly could. He was so brave, encouraging, spontaneous, courageous, the list could go on and on. I remember the night that Caleb had said he wanted to come with me. It took a whole ten minutes for him to decide he was coming and before even talking to his parents, he went and booked his flight.
I still cannot believe that I will be departing for Port Au Prince in three days. It just seems unreal. It does not seem right to go without Caleb but I know that he would still want me to go and would still want me to follow both of our dreams. I am positive that Caleb will be with me in spirit and that he will be watching over me while I am there. I am looking forward to going and meeting all of the children ! I know that they will definitely keep me busy.
I have decided to extend my stay in Haiti. I will now be staying until June 4th.
There are 4 friends joining me on my journey! Sam Miller, Blaire Stewart, Josh Laird & Phil Kember will be coming to Haiti. Sam & Blaire will be staying the first two weeks, Josh will be staying until May 25th, and Phil will be coming from May 24th-June 4th.
We have done a lot of fund-raising within the last month and I could not have done it without the support from friends, family, & the community ! We have also collected many donations that we will be bringing over for the kids. We depart from Detroit on May 1st at 6:43 p.m. We have a layover in Fortlauderdale, Florida. Our plane leaves at 7 a.m. on May 2nd and we will arrive in Port Au Prince at 8:30 a.m.
I have been told that there will be electricity in the orphanage and that I will be able to access a computer when I need to. I will try my best to stay in touch with everyone and update my blog!
We will still be volunteering at OREA Orphanage in Port Au Prince. Jean (the owner) has been unable to pay his rent for 2 years. We are hoping that the money we have raised will help to keep his orphanage open. The kids are without beds, they constantly have food shortages, and are in need of medical supplies. We are hoping to improve the conditions of living and help out in anyway that we can !
On Sunday I am participating in walk for Kids Help Phone in memory of Caleb. After the walk I will be heading straight to the airport ! It will be one busy day. I am glad to say that I am pretty much packed already!
As much as I will miss everyone in Chatham, I am looking forward to a completely new lifestyle for a month ! I know this experience will be life changing, just like my trip to Ghana was. I have a feeling I will be back to visit Haiti in the near future.
I would like to give a special thanks to Union Gas Employees, Tecumseh Public School, Jim & Cilla Smith, Candice Fung, Mary Doddy, Colleen Baldock, Betty Elgie, Char & Nick Wrobel, Michelle Anjema, Karen Walker, Stuart Patterson, Alicia Belanger, Michelle Tole, Sue Lindsay, St. Agnes School, My family, and my friends who have all supported my upcoming trip. I couldn't do it without you !