This is from a member of the August Service/Mission team.  I love the picliz too!
My name is Julia Bobinet, I am a Junior at the University of Iowa studying nursing.  I was raised in the small town of Osage, Iowa.  I was given the opportunity to travel to Haiti with Love Takes Root in August.  This was my first time participating in an international service trip!  At first. I was a little nervous because I had never met my team members, let alone traveled outside of the country without my family.  When we arrived in Haiti our team gathered for dinner at a hotel in Port Au Prince, where Rick lead a discussion to assign our roles for the week.  I was a little intimidated because I am only a student and I was worried I wouldn’t be much help, but Rick and the team said “Every hand is a helping hand here in Haiti”.  This made me feel very welcomed and important.
Later in the week Rick came into the OR saying one of the girls at the orphanage needed blood, however in order for her to receive blood there needed to be a donation first.  After hearing this news I realized that I was the only one eligible to donate because everyone else was on anti-malaria drugs.  Despite my interest in the healthcare field,  I am a little squeamish around needles and had never donated blood before due to this fear.  But, knowing that there was someone out there who needed my donation to survive gave me the strength to donate.  I followed Jhony to a stuffy room in the back of the hospital where the floor was stained with blood from previous donors.  The phlebotomist who would be taking my blood was very bitter and wouldn’t let Jhony in the room with me. ( She was frustrated because she knows the girl at the orphanage always needs blood)   I was very nervous for the donation process and a little paranoid that she couldn’t understand my request to see the sterile needle. Eventually she understood and showed me… I think at this point she thought I was a crazy lady and a bit of a baby because I may have shed a tear or two hehe!  After my unit of blood was taken Johny came straight into the room and comforted me, telling me I was brave and strong.  (He is so sweet!)  I was very proud of myself for going outside of my comfort zone to help save a sweet girl’s life.
My experience in Haiti taught me a lot about surgery, and the human body.  However one of the biggest lessons I took away from my experience is this: Stepping outside of your comfort zone and trying new things is the best way to grow into the person you want to become.
p.s. by trying new things can also be simple like trying pikliz.  I wasn’t so sure about the spice at first but right now in bed back in Iowa I am craving some fried plantains with that delicious spicy coleslaw!