Q&A with Ms. DeCamp

Helping Hands in Haiti

Ms.+DeCamp+with+boy%2C+Peggy%2C+after+Bible+Study.
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Q&A with Ms. DeCamp

Ms. DeCamp with boy, Peggy, after Bible Study.

Ms. DeCamp with boy, Peggy, after Bible Study.

Ms. DeCamp with boy, Peggy, after Bible Study.

Ms. DeCamp with boy, Peggy, after Bible Study.

Carson Kovalic, Editor-In-Chief

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Math teacher Lexi DeCamp has spent several summers in Haiti to help others who are less fortunate than she. She wants others to help just as she has and hopes to take students with her in future years. Smoke Signals spoke with Ms. DeCamp about her time there to shed some light on the experiences she has had.

 

What’s it like in Haiti?

There’s no normal in Haiti, which kind of makes it stressful sometimes. We live in a house with the people, wake up, the women cook for us, and we’d eat breakfast. After, we’d drive out to the villages, which is about an hour drive, it’s only 30 miles, but the roads are bad so it takes longer to get where you’re going. Depending on the day, we’ll have bible studies. There was a mom that had a premature baby who was struggling to feed her so we had to buy formula and take it to her. We just check up on people, play with kids, see what they need, and talk to community leaders.

 

What inspired you to start going to Haiti?

I went to Haiti for the first time my sophomore year of college and I just went for a week. We built houses and it was really awesome, I loved it. I knew I wanted to go back and for longer than a week. The summer after I graduated college I tried to find an organization that could do something more long term. So I went with an organization called World-Wide Village for the whole summer before I started teaching. Then I went back this past summer. I was part of a college ministry at my church that I went to. There was a group that one of our pastors was taking.

 

What is your favorite memory about Haiti?

There’s this family that I got to know really well the first summer I went. The mom has a daughter and three sons and they were just really awesome people. If we didn’t have anything to do at some point during the day we would talk and hang out with the family on their porch. When I went back this summer, our organization had built them a house. We needed to paint their new house while we were there so we spent a lot of time there. When we were finally finished painting, the family gave us this huge watermelon. It seems really little, but I was so excited because their watermelons are really good. More important, I always feel like I’m trying to give so much stuff to them, but they’re so thankful that they gave us this huge watermelon that for them costs so much. She could have fed all her children, but she gave it to me even though she knew I could have afforded it. It was awesome.

 

What keeps you going back to Haiti?

At this point, I know people over there really well. I call them my friends. The people there are very different than Americans. They don’t really let anything get them down. It’s inspiring to help them and not every person is perfect, but they’re very thankful for what we have to offer. They’re just really happy people to be around, even though you look at them and think they have nothing. The kids don’t have toys to play with but they’re almost happier than our kids because they just hang out and play games; they don’t need toys to play with to be content.

 

What’s the goal of World Wide Village?

They work in two really small villages called Williamson and Luli and they do a lot of community work. They build houses and work really close with the church. They sponsor two different schools; they don’t run the schools but they sponsor kids to go and they help them. Recently, they bought books for all the kids so they kind of sponsor different things at the school and the different community work. We delivered a baby when I was there. They call it community building and work to make their community stronger.

 

How can other people get involved?

In general, there’s a bunch of different organizations that work in Haiti. If people would want to donate to them, small organizations are almost better because they might not make as obvious an impact, but they can use the money in better ways; they don’t have to jump through lots of hoops to use it. I would really love in the future to bring a group of GRC students to Haiti for them to be able to experience what I have been blessed enough to experience.