Go to Haiti and serve people.
No seriously. I lost 8 pounds in 6 days in Haiti!
What the what?
I can attribute the weight loss to a few factors.
- Activity: We walked everywhere. I was constantly playing soccer with the kids. Even though we all took a siesta from 12:30-2:30 every day to avoid the heat… we were all exhausted at the end of each day. Just imagine how much I would have lost if we’d done a construction project?
- Heat: There was no escaping the heat in Haiti. Air conditioning is not a luxury many Haitians enjoy and our team was no exception. Each day was 100+ F and the humidity hovered between 80%-99%. I lived on water and Gatorade. (Drank on average 320 oz. of liquid per day, went pee about one time per day…. you just sweat that fast.) When we did visitation or even just walked around the neighborhood, my clothing would be soaked to the core within minutes. Thank goodness for shirts that wick away the moisture. Those with cotton t-shirts looked miserable.
- Food: We didn’t starve. In fact, I think we ate very good. Mornings we had oatmeal. (Not what you want to eat when its so hot, but it was all about calorie loading.) Lunch was PB&J and Pringles. And dinner was provided by a Haitian cook. That always had a rice element, a non-lettuce salad element, and either chicken or goat. In fact, the food was delicious.
Wrestle with this
Kristen and I both felt physically great during our time in Haiti. We were tired by the end of the day and we were constantly thinking about hydration. But overall, we were 100% fine. No gastro distress. No travelers stomach. No cramps. No upturned noses at disgusting food.
But since we’ve been home. Neither of us have felt good.
The reality is that we ate better quality food in Haiti than we buy from stores and restaurants here. I’m thankful we are in the middle of our harvest season so that we can feed our family fresh, organically grown foods. (90% of our produce is now from organic sources like our CSA and our own garden) If anything, this last trip has proven to me that the GMO grains and sugars that have taken over the American food supply are making us all, collectively, sick.
Two points of thought:
- I don’t think I’m done leading trips to Haiti. While the work is shifting from relief to rebuilding, its a slow culture and re-culturing the nation will take time and outside encouragement. The reality is that I feel strangely awake and alive there– it’s beyond explanation.
- I am once again re-examining how/what my family eats. I think it may be time to try a food experiment. It might be time to eliminate high fructose corn syrup, GMO grains, and non-organic trickle down products like dairy.