Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Three Weeks 'Til Haiti!

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Good news: I have a vague idea of where I'm going and what I'm doing in Haiti!  And yes, I'm officially going to Haiti.  My team is working on a church construction project in Les Cayes, a coastal town that has had an influx of displaced people since the earthquake last winter.  I don't know a whole lot else about the project itself at this point, except that we are staying at a guest house with bunk rooms, and we'll be the third VIM team at this site.  It sounds like we'll be doing some actual building - like pouring concrete and such.  Yeah, its ok if you laughed when you pictured me pouring concrete.  

People keep asking me if it's safe to go to Haiti right now, what with the cholera outbreak and all of that business... 
I have been assured that we can trust the food at the guest house, and in any case VIM put out a good set of guidelines for preventing cholera.  As long as I treat my water and don't sing in the shower I should be fine (does anyone else remember the scene in SATC where Charlotte takes a shower in Mexico?)  I already have some of the shots I need, so I just need to go to Passport Health for a Tetanus shot and maybe a couple others (waiting on my shot record from my doctor's office).  Of course I'll also get prescriptions to prevent Malaria and to treat diarrhea.  Delightful.  There are teams going to Haiti pretty much constantly so I'm fairly confident that if there were real concerns VIM or the General Board of Global Ministries would call off the teams.    

So now I just have to raise the money and get all of my stuff together.  So far my Chip-In says that I haven't raised anything, but I think that's because I am still in the process of setting up my Pay Pal account - I actually have $25 so far!  I'll need to buy a few things like water treatment tablets, bug repellant, possibly a mosquito net, etc.  I was planning on taking my trusty backpack but apparently VIM recommends taking a suitcase and clothes that you intend to leave there.  Haven't decided about that yet.  I really wish that I had decided to go to Haiti before Richelle took all of Camp's lost and found stuff to Good Will.  I could have supplied all of my work clothes and then loaded up with kids' stuff to take down with me (I'm told some of the kids there are running around naked because they don't have clothes).  I'm also looking into the state of cell service in Haiti, so that I can maybe blog/update from there.  Verizon Wireless's website lists a mobile carrier and voice/messaging rates in Haiti, so it's possible... and cell phones are pretty pervasive in developing countries.  We'll see.  

I'm leaving for Haiti in three weeks!  That's pretty crazy.  

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