What’s it like living in Haiti? That’s a question that I get a lot since I arrived here. It’s not a bad question necessarily, it’s just a really big question, so I’m going to try to answer it.
Okay, when I got here January 5th I was terrified. More than terrified. I didn’t really know what I was getting into, I didn’t know the people I was going to be sharing a house with very well, and I didn’t know a word of Creole.
God covered me on all of those worries.
Okay, the Creole one is a little harder but still a fun story. From the time I got here until right now, anyone and everyone is more than happy to help me learn, and I love that, I love learning new words all the time and being able to have a little bit more of a conversation everyday. I have been here for almost 3 months and I still can not hold even a half conversation but that’s okay, I am getting there. I have so many people around me that are completely open to helping me learn, and have so much patience when I just don’t get it or ask 20+ times. That is so crazy to think about even now, I have a group of people who want to teach me, who are willing to sit with me for however long it takes, just to teach me five words. That’s a blessing.
Something that trumps almost everything is relationships. I love going into new communities and ones that I have been in and making relationships. I love talking to people and learning their stories and hearing new ones when I go back. Whether it is a momma or walking down the street and hearing “Samantha!” from a child who wants to play or show me something that they got. Relationships are everything, and we lack that in our first world countries. We hide from neighbors and hope that dinner party gets cancelled because we “can’t be bothered tonight.” I don’t want to be accusatory because I do the same thing back home, but I am learning so much that community is so important.
Being here isn’t perfect and there are times when I all I want to do is curl up cry and get my parents to tell me everything is going to be okay. Days where maybe I had seen something that struck my heart or it was just such a long day and it isn’t even over yet. But I had days like those in Canada to. There will always be bad days and that’s okay. But remembering that giving everything we have to God and He will take care of it, He will accept us and He will still love us through everything is hard to even wrap my mind around.
The people I live with are amazing. The way they follow the Lord is breathtaking and something to seriously look up to. They turned into people I had dinner and laughs with, that in the morning I am excited to go upstairs and share stories with. People that I am doing life with, learning with, adventuring with, growing with. Feeling fully accepted is a really good feeling, you feel that way usually with family, people who love you regardless, and that’s what I have here, I have family, people who love me through everything, it is such a blessing and overwhelms me daily. I feel at peace that this is what HE wants me doing and that is a really nice feeling.
Samantha lives and serves in Haiti as a part of the CompassionCorp program. Find out more about CompassionCorp.