Mending Hearts in Haiti
Many students throughout the U.S. spend their Spring Breaks on sandy beaches, or luxurious resorts. Some spend their time just relaxing at home or taking a break from a hectic school year. Overall, Spring Break is a time to relax and take a break from all the stress that comes with year of school.
However, for junior Adam Engleking, relaxation is not a key to his enjoyment of the break. Engleking spent his last Spring Break in the country of Haiti, Port au Prince to be exact. While other students were serving enjoying themselves on beaches and vacations, Engleking was on another kind of vacation- one where he served others.
“I went with my Dad, the youth minister from my church, some other kids my age from my church and some people from Paoli Christian church,” said Engleking. “We built tables and bookcases for a high school in the city we were in and we painted a church in Port au Prince.”
All together, Engleking and his peers spent seven days and six nights in Haiti, where they slept at a compound in dorm rooms.
“We stayed in a compound that consisted of a school and a church. There were dorm like rooms at the school that we all stayed in. That high school is where we built the book shelves and in the church is where we painted,” said Engleking.
The conditions in Haiti, according to Engleking, were horrid.
“First of all it was very hot. And it was a really dry heat so that made it pretty bad. There was a ton of poverty and people out on the streets. The people lived in awful conditions and there was trash strung out on the streets everywhere you looked,” said Engleking. “Not exactly the conditions you think of for a Spring Break destination.”
Nevertheless, Engleking enjoyed himself in a different way than most other students on break.
“I really had fun. My favorite part of the trip was being able to play soccer with the kids that lived around our compound,” said Engleking. “It felt good to help people in need. It was a very rewarding experience to help those who are less fortunate than we are.”
Engleking plans to go back to Haiti this upcoming Spring Break with the same group he went with last year.
Story by Garrett Vincent