This week is a Vision Trip week for us here in Haiti, and it’s been a great one. We have 6 visitors – 3 from Canada and 3 from the US. All of them have been wonderful and we’ve been having so much fun getting to know them.
Our hope with Vision Trips is to expose people to what we do and that they’ll go home with a love for Haiti and want to tell others about their time with us. We don’t have expectations that people will be working all day pumping out filters. We just encourage people to be as involved as they want to be. This week our visitors have wanted to be very hands on and have spent a lot of time out in the work yard with our staff.
One thing that we really enjoy about hosting people is that our groups are small sowe can really talk and share and get to know everyone. We spend time around the table chatting after meals are done. We can go out together and see the area and it doesn’t feel like a big management project. Two of our visitors this week had been to Haiti before with another organization that we know and love, and it’s been fun to hear about how different their experiences have been. On their previous visits they had come with BIG groups and everything was done on site – church, meals, work etc. They came to Haiti, but didn’t really get to experience Haiti. They’ve really enjoyed being able to get out and do things like walk in the community, go to stores, go to church off site and just get a completely different feel for the Haiti that they had previously known. I love that! I love that they have been telling us over and over how much they’re enjoying their time here and how it’s helping them to gain a different perspective of Haiti.
When we are trying to expose our visitors to Haiti we know that our role is to facilitate, and to let them develop their own views out of that. We try to send our guests out on delivery trips with our staff so they can see where filters get installed and to give them a chance to see how people really live here. I always enjoy hearing their thoughts when they get home after a long day. We have had visitors say that delivery day has been one of the best experiences of their life. We also try to visit some of the other missions and organizations in the area so our visitors can meet others that are doing good things here and see what God is doing. And, what trip would be complete without a chance to be out in the community? Walks to the market, a trip into St. Marc to see a bigger center and see where we buy groceries, do banking etc are all ways that we can show people what life is like here for ourselves and the people of Haiti.
If you’ve considered a Vision Trip I would encourage you to look at signing up. We still have room in our October trip, but the registration deadline is the middle of September. If you would like to register please contact me (Leslie) at firstname.lastname@example.org.