By Kimberly Monge
It is our normal daily routine at Garinger High School to learn the objective with help from our teachers.
Instead, one of our teachers was selected to go to Haiti for a couple of days to help other students.
The teacher selected was Ms. Hendee, an Earth and Environmental teacher. She was chosen to go because she wanted to help others and experience new things from other cultures.
On Friday, March 8, early in the morning, Ms.Hendee met up with people from UNC-Chapel Hill at Charlotte Douglas Airport. They were on the way to Haiti to run a health clinic, and Ms.Hendee was to help the children at a children’s home put a garden in on the rooftop.
Ms. Hendee stayed in Port-au-Prince, at an orphanage home called New Hope Haiti Mission. During those days, the whole group planned to run a health clinic for the children who lived at the orphanage.
“When the earthquake hit in Haiti in 2010, I wanted so desperately to go. However, a mentor of mine mentioned that I would not have a skill to bring and would take jobs away from Haitian people,” Ms. Hendee said.
“I didn’t want to go back to Haiti until I had a skill. Garinger taught me how to garden. I brought that skill to the garden in Haiti and learned even more.”
In Haiti, their morning breakfast was spaghetti, fried chicken and heavy eggs with boiled plantains, even though the traditional meal for Haitians is rice and beans.
The water from Haiti was polluted so nobody could drink or bathe in it.
Ms Hendee said that the surprising thing is that all the groups had to be sitting inside a cage when a vehicle was driving them to a location. Otherwise, it was a long walk because they had to wake up early in the morning with the young girls so they could get water for everyone in the orphanage. It was an hour walk to go to the river and go back to the home, get dressed and go straight to school.
Ms. Hendee said the education for Haitians is expensive because it is a private school. If students wear the uniforms inappropriately or if the students are late to school, they are suspended for one week.
In the New Hope Haiti Mission, six teenagers take care of the other children. Two older boys named Macintosh and Ricardo take care of the children’s school work and every night they would put the children in prayers before sleep.
Four older girls named Anel, Daniela, Joelle and Marie Carmel, make sure that the children eat their food and clean the house. The saddest part is the oldest boy is almost 18 years old. In a couple of months, he will have to leave the orphanage and start out to search for jobs like the adults.
The leader of the orphanage, Scott Salvant, is living in Haiti with his wife April and their five children. He said that Haiti is his new home.
Salvant is trying his best for the orphanage; lately they have been having some issues.
The orphanage does not want to add more orphans because recently they have added two young boys who physically abused some girls and were kicked out. The girls that were abused were having nightmares and were frightened to go outside.
After she returned, Ms.Hendee set up a Skype call with her 4th period class and AP students. Garinger students met Salvant and Macintosh, Ricardo, Anel, Daniela, Joelle and Marie Carmel.
The orphans told the class that they would love to come to America; one of the eldest males wants to work here as a doctor.
They said that they love to play soccer and basketball and one of the things they enjoy is watching soccer matches on their mini TV/radio.
Ms. Hendee is happy with the outcome.
“It was an opportunity to expose myself and my students to a different culture. I also was able to serve in knowledge, experience, and relationship building. I feel so blessed I was able to go and cannot wait to go back,” she said.
By Kimberly Monge