Haiti Day 3: Holy Guano, Batman!

Hey hey hey!  Karen and Tim here (:

So we got up before the crack of dawn at 4:30am this morning (for some, 2 days in a row) for a great opportunity to see the countryside of Pignon, Haiti.  We took a hike (about 3 miles each way) through corn fields in the mountains to visit a bat cave.  The views were spectacular and in terms of difficulty, it was definitely…  not Rancho San Antonio.  We basically had to make our own trail and all got pretty cut up, but it was SO much fun.

When we entered the bat cave, there was a snake hanging, we could hear the bats hissing, and the rocks were ridiculously slippery.  We thought it was slippery due to mud, but what was actually causing it was a layer of bat guano (poop) over everything.  Once inside, with our lights we could see thousands of bats swarming around in circles, eating the bugs by our heads.  We also got a chance to check out this corner of the cave that had remains of voodoo sacrifices of animals.  This was when the more adventurous group went further down into the bat cave and found they had to cross a river of bat guano.  Luckily, no one fell in, or else they would’ve had bat guano up to their waist…  Anyway, we went back down the mountain on a different route, and some of us got some fresh mangos from a tree to snack on.  (The mangos here are aaaaaaaaamazing.)  It was incredible.

After lunch (and a nap), we had a chance to sit down with the board of UCI (United Christians International) and hear about their vision for their organization.  It was refreshing and encouraging to see their passion for the glory of God in Haiti and their excitement for the future.  God is working through their ministry in such powerful ways and the impact they’ve made on this community in the past 5 years alone is just the beginning of what is possible here through God’s people and His grace.

After the meeting, we were supposed to accompany the youth group to clean up the marketplace, but the weather made it so that it wasn’t possible to go.  It had started pouring, so instead we had a chance to distribute clothes and shoes to the youth group.  The kids were so polite and excited about it, and seeing the joy on their faces as they got to pick out their new clothes and shoes was, as MasterCard (or Jim) says, priceless.  Dave even got some of the boys to get ties to wear to church tomorrow.

JeanJean then took us down the road to a sugar cane press.  We learned about how they took raw sugar cane and ran it through a homemade press consisting of a large wooden crank and two oxen in order to produce sweet sugary syrup.

We could go on forever, but…  Today was awesome, it’s time for dinner, keep praying for God to move, aaaaand that’s it!

P.S.  The food here is BOMB.

Bye!

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