Mission of Hope-Haiti Day 4: Painting Houses at Leveque

by Anthony Nguyen on October 20, 2013

On January 12, 2010, Haiti was shaken with a 7.0 magnitude earthquake that killed over 200,000 people, another 300,000 injured, and 1.5 million people were left homeless. Buildings, roads, homes, and most infrastructures were significantly damaged or destroyed. Due to the unimaginable housing needs after the earthquake, Mission of Hope began in 2010 to build 650 new homes for displaced families. Not just a housing project, their objective is to build a community in the town of Leveque with a church, school, market place, safe water solutions, and playing fields.

Houses in Leveque that are occupied.

Houses in Leveque that are occupied.

Currently, there is ongoing development  with over 300 families already residing in their new homes and 20 more moving in each month. Today, we came in a group of about 10 to help paint houses that are being built.

House painting

John from Maine and our group leader Amalie from Estonia.

John from Maine and our group leader Amalie from Estonia.

Almost done painting with our first house.

Almost done painting with our first house.

Probably my most memorable picture of the trip so far, I witnessed a young girl who couldn’t be more than 10 year old riding on a donkey. Upon closer look, she was carrying three huge buckets of water. These houses do not have electricity, much less running water, and this is the only way for them get water from miles away. If I ever have any children in the future, I will just show them this picture as a reminder of how lucky they are to be living in the U.S.

Getting water

Getting water on a donkey

Our group took a lunch break and came back to finish our second home. The whole group, along with the village of champions crew, took a picture for a job well done(the sign meant “Love” according to the Haitians).

Our MOH crew along with the village of champions. John and Lily, amazing couple from Maine, decided to go on a missionary trip on their 30th wedding anniversary.

Our MOH team along with the Village of Champions crew. John and Lily, an amazing couple from Maine, decided to go on a missionary trip on their 30th wedding anniversary.

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Mission of Hope-Haiti Day 3: Mobile Medical Clinic

by Anthony Nguyen on October 19, 2013

I’ve seen so much today, I don’t know where to start. Okay, so after breakfast, we picked up our medical drug containers and head out to a nearby village. The mobile medical clinic team are made up of around 25 people(2 doctors, 1 pharmacist, 8 nurses, translators, and non-medical volunteers). I swear I don’t know how people learn to drive around here since there were constant honking, no streetlights or speed limit signs. People constantly zoom pass your car on one lane. You have roaming animals such as chickens, goats, cows, horses, pigs, goats, and donkeys everywhere.  After 30 minutes on the road, thank God we made it safely to our clinic site and we began to unload our equipments.

Unloading the benches, chairs, and tables.

Unloading the benches, chairs, and tables.

Bringing out the medical kit boxes to set up our mobile clinic.

Bringing out the medical bins to set up our mobile clinic.

Thuy and her team setting up the pharmacy.

Thuy and her team setting up the pharmacy.

Everything absolutely free at no cost for anybody coming to see us! Words spread like fire about the free medical clinic and you can see the people getting anxious to see the doctors/nurses and receiving their prescriptions.

People start forming a line.

People start forming a line.

Full blown clinic in effect.

Full blown clinic in effect.

Our pharmacist and her team working hard!

Our pharmacist and her team working hard!

For the most part, my job was just doing whatever they need me to do(mainly unloading/reloading, filling water, running errands, etc). Thuy and her team filled over 100 prescriptions on working 6 hours straight without a break. *Applause*. It was pretty overwhelming to say the least.  I have no complaint here, but the heat is starting to take  a toll on me. I have to constantly remind myself to drink water even when I’m not thirsty.  However, we were pretty happy with the results and everybody who came in got treated and their prescriptions filled. Our day ended at around 4 p.m. I’m looking forward to tomorrow since it will be our work project day to paint houses that Mission of Hope-Haiti built over 600 of them. Okay, off to bed I go. Nite.

All the nurses and Thuy for a photo-op.

All the nurses and Thuy for a photo-op.

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Mission of Hope-Haiti Day 2: Visiting the Orphanage

by Anthony Nguyen on October 17, 2013

You don’t want to know how I start my morning each day. There is a saying here “If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.” Water is scarce here, so we use every opportunity to conserve water on campus.  Likewise with electricity. The campus runs on a generator, and there is no a/c. Overall, Mission of Hope-Haiti runs quite efficiently.  Our day starts at 7 a.m for breakfast with cereal, jam, bread, oatmeal, and coffee. Since today is actually Dessalines Day(founding father of Haiti), almost everybody is off and we set out to visit a local orphanage.

Morning breakfast area

Morning breakfast area

We left with a team of about 15 people, along with 5 local guys who act as translators(the two main languages are Creole and French). It was actually quite a fun trip getting there with the local guys breaking an impromptu song.

After a 20-minute ride on an all gravel road, we finally made it to Bon Samaritan orphanage. Founded by Mamie Yol, the orphanage is home to over 50 kids by my estimate. You really have to think twice on the subject of orphanage here in Haiti. I was told that most are for profit enterprises, including Bon Samaritan orphanage. I hear stories of people who own these orphanages are pocketing donated money. Allegedly, they keep the children looking thin to show to future visitors. Why? The more sickly the kids look, the greater the donation money.  I’m not sure what to believe, so take it with a grain of salt. These abandoned children have a home and at least one meal per day(not a typo). We are here for the kids and to show that we care. At least for today, they seem to be happy with their newly visitors.

Forming a circle for games, dancing, and singing.

Forming a circle for games, dancing, and singing

Thuy with her new friend

Thuy with her new friend

Getting my workout in Haiti

Getting my workout in Haiti

Feeding the children with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Sadly, this may be their only meal of the day.

Feeding the children with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Sadly, this may be their only meal of the day.

The children trying out new slippers.

The children trying out new slippers.

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Mission of Hope-Haiti Day 1: Witnessing Poverty First-Hand

by Anthony Nguyen on October 17, 2013

It has been a long day and almost midnight here, so forgive me for my horrible writing. I just want to update you guys on our trip to Haiti so far.  We started our day at 5 a.m flying out of Houston international airport to our connecting flight in Miami. Our flight from Miami to Port-au-Prince was a short ride of just under two hours and we landed around 4 p.m. After picking up our luggage, we met up with our driver Bobby who seems to be pretty stylish with his iPhone 5 and Converse Chuck Taylor shoes. I guess Haiti peeps are doing pretty well so I thought. Thuy and I were joined by a church group of 20 people from Buffalo New York. We all rode together in the magic yellow school bus to our Mission of Hope-Haiti campus for the next hour.

Haiti Bus

Now, I know poor. We both did. I grew up poor, as in fobby POor. The-going-to-McDonalds-once-in-a-blue moon/sharing-two-double-cheeseburger-value-meals-for-a-family-of-8 kind of poor. Yeah, so for the next thirty minutes on our bus ride, I’ve never seen such poverty and human suffering and feel so completely helpless in my entire life. We were just speechless. It’s not that we were naive and not expecting what you see on t.v, but to see it live, in your face…such a surreal experience. I mean we saw an entire group of people living in tent city with such an awful stench; people selling anything they can just to feed their family. The pictures below don’t do enough justice of my description above.

Haiti houses

Haiti PeopleBy all accounts, Haiti is a beautiful scenic country with its lush green vegetation, mountainous region, and oceanside view. I hope to present with more pictures soon to show that side of Haiti.  After unloading our luggage, we all ate a nice dinner together along with meeting the full time staff of Mission of Hope-Haiti. The poverty I just witnessed was still on top of my mind, but at least I know why we are here and why Mission of Hope is so badly needed to the people of Haiti.

Team meeting

We then met up with our medical volunteers team(some new some old) to go over what we will be doing for the next week. Thuy and I then spent the next two hours sorting out the donated pharmacy drugs. By now, were were both tired and just want to take a cold shower and head to bed. I felt compel to write this post and share what I’ve seen so far. I feel gratitude and fortunate to be living in the U.S and hope to leave here with a better understanding of Haiti much needed help.
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Mission of Hope- Haiti

October 15, 2013

Sorry I’ve been MIA the last few months due to extensive traveling and work. So my friend Thuy(a licensed pharmacist) and I decided to go on a medical missionary trip; we picked Mission of Hope- Haiti for our first oversea trip. By this time tomorrow, we are on our way to Haiti and getting settled […]

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The Winner of iPad Mini Raffle is……

May 20, 2013
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Support Michelle’s and Amy’s Mission Trips for a Chance to Win an iPad Mini!

April 17, 2013

To my surprise, I was recently notified as the winner of a new iPad Mini. I really have no need for an iPad Mini and it would be just sitting here collecting dust. Instead, I want to set up a RAFFLE to support my friend’s little sister Michelle and my cousin Amy on their mission […]

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15th Annual Katy Trail 5K Run on May 9, 2013

April 15, 2013

My friends and I are participating in the 15th Annual Katy Trail 5K Run on May 9, 2013. The run starts at 7:00pm that begin and end at Reverchon Park – 3505 Maple Ave, 75201. Only $40 to register, you’ll receive a Nike Tech shirt and access to the Katy 5K Picnic for food, drinks, […]

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SoupMobile: Feeding and Sheltering the Homeless

April 8, 2013

My good friend Michelle is setting up a volunteering event this Saturday(4/13/2013) for the SoupMobile in Deep Ellum. I’ll be joining her group making sandwiches for the homeless from 11:00am–12:30pm at 3025 MAIN/Excuses Cafe. The SoupMobile, a faith-based nonprofit organization, is a mobile soup kitchen that serves over 200,000 meals per year and shelter the […]

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International Rescue Committee in Dallas: How You Can Help

March 12, 2013

Imagine taking in three people into your home with no family ties to you. You must provide them food, shelter, and clothing until they became self-sufficient. They speak little to no English due to being newly immigrants from a third world country. You are responsible with finding them employment, enrolling their children in schools, paperwork […]

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