***NOTE FROM ENO – Kara Kirtley volunteered to visit Haiti with Visiting Orphans, an organization that sends mission teams to work with children and communities in 12 countries around the world. We donated a few hammocks to Visiting Orphans to use for their volunteers and the children that they meet along the way.***
By Kara Kirtley
Hammocking in Haiti. It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? When I heard that was exactly what I’d be doing, I was over the moon excited.
Last fall, I signed up for my first mission trip to visit Haiti through Visiting Orphans out of Nashville. My team would leave at the end of December to work with Grace so Amazing Ministries in the rural town of Mirebalais, about an hour north of Port-au-Prince. While there, we’d be working with the impoverished in local villages, including ministering to orphans who live in the street.
I knew the trip would be difficult and it would be hard adjusting to life in a third world country, and knowing I’d have my familiar Eagles Nest Outfitters hammock to sleep in at night gave me peace of mind and something to look forward to.
I work at a TV station in Henderson, KY- anchoring the news for a marathon four hour long show, and over the past year have become inseparable with my pink ENO hammock. After a stressful day at work, there’s nothing better than hitching up my ENO and letting the stress of the work day sway away between two trees.
In Haiti, the Grace so Amazing staff recently built what I like to call a “Hammock Haven” on the rooftop of their guest house. It’s a wooden structure that holds several hammocks in a row. And what a haven it was- the week we visited, there were 40+ guests staying in the four bedroom house, so being able to escape to the rooftop to sway in a hammock was pure luxury.
Before I left for Haiti, my family made sure I was well prepared for my mission trip- for Christmas, I received a Talon Ridgeline, a ProFly Rain Tarp, and a Guardian Bug Net to keep those pesky malaria-carrying mosquitos at bay. We must have been on the same wavelength- because for Christmas, I got my dad a DoubleNest ENO so we can hammock together on our next camping trip!
My mission trip to Haiti was life changing. I’ll never forget the children’s laughs, the hugs from the elderly people in the village, the singing with no reservations at church, and the spirit of hope that pours out of those who are in the most desperate of circumstances. Being able to end days like those by sleeping in a hammock- on a rooftop, in the mountains, under the stars, and surrounded by friends is one of the best memories of my lifetime- even with the dogs barking, goats bleating, and a nocturnal rooster crowing three feet from our heads! I’m so happy and thankful that ENO has generously donated hammocks to Grace so Amazing so that more folks in the years to come can have the same experience my team did.