The group of HFTH and Fuller Center volunteers have been sleeping in tents and living on pasta for nearly a week now. Within the first few days in Haiti the group had many difficult experiences. The team drove at least one truckload of critically injured people to the airport in hopes of getting the U.S. military to care for them. They have witnessed first hand the need for over 400,000 permanent homes to be built around Port-au-Prince. Thousands of Haitians walk the streets with no where to go as the backlog of aid waiting to enter the country grows. They have begun working with Fr. Ricks on the first of 18 heavily damaged street schools that used to provide educations to over 6000 kids.
Correspondence from Rob Beckham:
A Full day.
We loaded trucks and got to the site.
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There were 45 to 50 people that wanted to work.
I told them we needed 15 people. I only had 15 Tshirts. They negotiated which 15 would work. That was interesting. They can be pretty vocal. More people could be hard to control.
Once the workers were chosen they all got shirts. We brought out the tools and started working. At one point Fr Ricks staff came by and told them the rate. An aggressive discussion occured. Haitian discussions are a bit … well … Chaotic and loud. A new higher rate was arrived at and cheers of Haitian victory went up.
This crew then continued work with with passion. Pretty exciting! Our crew cleared the rubble in front and half of the back. One guy began telling me how with St Luke they had hope. Without St Luke they were lost.
Tomorrow we finish the ground and begin thinking through how to safely clear the roof while saving the first floor. We have to see the top after it is cleaned.