Daisy Lin: What you get in return is payment in itself
Mission E4 is a Christian-based missionary group that specializes in sending volunteer students to places abroad with the goal of making a lasting impact in countries with growing economies.
Lin was on her way to a Mission E4 orphanage, which was an hour and a half away from the Port-au-Prince airport where she had landed.
As she passed tent cities made from tarps and crumbled cinder block buildings, Lin realized she was seeing the effects of the earthquake that hit Haiti two years ago.
“Everywhere you looked there was poverty. It’s weird being there because you’re so immersed in the poverty; sometimes you hardly notice it because it’s so normal,” Lin said. “[But] driving through the streets was a culture shock because there were so many people who lived lives so different from ours.”
After the trek out of Port-au-Prince, which ultimately took five hours, Lin arrived at the MIssion E4 orphanage in Leogane. The orphanage included two schools with nearly 1300 kids, a girls’ orphanage with 24 children, the pastor’s family and a supervised boys’ orphanage with 13 boys and another pastor’s family.
According to Lin, one of the most important parts of the missionary office is to give each student three meals a day.
Once settled in the Mission E4 orphanage, Lin started working with elementary school-aged girls, playing hacky sack and hand clapping games with them. Lin also distributed the necessary materials to make school uniforms.
“Uniforms are really important to Haitians to legitimize school. If a kid doesn’t have a uniform, oftentimes parents just won’t send them to school,” Lin said.
Out of all the people who Lin met on her trip, the girls from the orphanage hold the strongest bond with her.
“We couldn’t really converse very well because they all speak Creole, but it was really easy to connect with them,” Lin said.
Lin’s experience in Haiti had a great impact on her.
“It is really special because it’s such an eye opener to things outside of Wayland. It just shows that it’s more important to get out there and do what you can to help,” Lin said. “It definitely changed my perception on things and how blessed I am to live the style of life I do.”
For Lin, the word “volunteer” also took on a new meaning after her trip to Haiti.
“The meaning of the word ["volunteer"] did change after the trip because you say you’re doing it for nothing, but what you get in return from the people you’re helping is payment in itself.”