RHS sophomore Sade’ Ried recently traveled to one of the poorest nations in the western hemisphere over Thanksgiving break.

Ried usually spends that time with her family, feasting. She described that version of herself as “weak, arrogant, and ungrateful.”

But being in a country with people who have faith has changed her idea of what it means to live.

Ried’s trip started off with typical travel challenges, when American Airlines lost her luggage. She said she cried for the first two days.

But seeing others smiling and living without, she realized her materialistic concerns were insignificant.

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Homes in the Minoterie Village. Photo credit: Sade' Ried

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Sade’ Ried and village boy attending Mission of Hope’s Church. 

Photo Credit: Aaron Donaghy Avondale High School teacher

“After going to the community, I saw kids with no pants, no underwear, no shoes...I’m crying over nothing,” Ried recalled.

The primary goal of this trip was to provide Haitians sustainable aid them in recovering from the 2010 earthquake. This included building greenhouses, planting trees and seeds. Among other things, these resources will provide numerous things such as shade, food, and clothing.

After seven years, Haiti is still trying to rebuild.

“These families are going blind because of the heat, and it is important they have trees,” Ried said.

An average day for her consisted of waking early, planting trees and building rustic bamboo greenhouses, sometimes working until dinner.

The village people inspired her the most.

“The Haitian people were willing to give us their last, and that taught me to be more giving to others,” Ried said.

On how her social views have changed, Ried said, “Some things are out of your control.”

“To withstand any obstacle, you have to have faith.”