Happiness in Haiti

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Happiness in Haiti

Bailey Donoho, Staff

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In October of 2018, my mother and I went on our first mission trip to Peredo, Haiti. While we were there, we built relationships with our team, and with strangers, that I will forever hold close to my heart and forever look back on as the best week of my life. We stayed on a campus called Hatian Christian Outreach and every morning I would wake up in awe of just how beautiful a third world country could be.

When travelers go to Haiti, they are met with an unfamiliar familiarity that may catch them off guard. It is beautifully unique, and everything about that country just screams love. happiness radiates from everyone you encounter, no matter what they are going through. The people there are so selfless and so caring that it can be a culture shock to return to the U.S.

We visited villages in Peredo, villages an hour outside of Peredo, and we even took a fishing boat across the Atlantic for four hours to a village called Ance a Beth, helping to provide medical attention to people that have never seen a doctor before in their life. Over the course of seven days, we probably helped over 500 people and gave them all medicine and vitamins that they needed.

However, one of the best encounters I had while I was there was with a boy who was at Ance a Beth. He didn’t know me at all and had never seen a white person in his life. As soon as I got off the boat, he grabbed my hand and wouldn’t let me go all day. I taught him how to sing ‘Hello My Name Is” by Matthew West in English and he went around singing it to his friends and teaching them as well. I have a photo of him and I hanging up in my room.

Haiti is my second home. In just a week, I have fallen in love with a country I had never been to. It’s a feeling that can’t be described, but has to be experienced. I cried leaving Mount Vernon because I didn’t want to leave family and friends. But I was even more sad coming home because I didn’t want to leave a place that had become more home than home had ever been.

There will forever be a piece of my heart that belongs to Haiti, and I will never truly get it back.