2012 Haiti trip my husband went on and they built a playground.  Now our whole family is going -- Gluten Free and all!

2012 Haiti trip my husband went on and they built a playground. Now our whole family is going — gluten free and all!

There ALWAYS seems to be a new experience just around the corner for we gluten free eaters. For our family– a big one is coming. The four of us are going on a mission trip to Haiti in March!

We are doing an inter-generational trip with our church through WorldWide Village in mid March. So right now we are in the preparation stage.  My husband has already gone once through the same organization and had a great experience.

For many, this stage entails finalizing the projects we will work on, fundraising and more.  But for our group, there is one added detail:  maintaining a gluten free diet for a week in a third world country.

So far we have met with Pat and Randy Mortenson, the people in charge at WorldWide Village, to get on the same page as to what a gluten free diet means and why it is important.  In my view there are things that are great about the trip for Emma’s gluten free needs, and things that concern me (as would concern anyone with celiac or their lovable helicopter parent):

In our favor:

  • Very few processed foods
  • Lots of fruit and rice
  • Our group supports being gluten free all week
  • Organizers say they won’t have bread in the house all week

Possible challenges:

  • Lots of people say they understand gluten free and really don’t (this is not a slam on WWV, just a reality that we all have experienced at one time or another.  And you don’t know how it will end up until you are faced with it)
  • Haitian ladies cook for us during the day when we are out in the field doing our work (so this helicopter mom will have less of a chance at hovering)
  • The cooks may have gluten free ingredients but could still accidentally contaminate the food with gluten.  (But since WWV is decreasing the amount of gluten in the house, this may be less apt to happen)

The good news is that I am less apprehensive about the the food situation than I was a few weeks ago.  Before I met Pat and Randy, I was more nervous. I still worry that my role could end up being chief gluten free chef  because, for whatever reason, the meals aren’t working out. I want both Emma and I to go and be able to focus on the mission work and not worry about the food like everyone else.

You will be able to watch it unfold right here on my website.  If Haiti is a cause that is close to you, we also are fundraising for the projects we are working on:  we will be building a house, a pen for donkeys, some soccer nets, plus we’ll need supplies for crafts we will be doing with the kids! You can donate online here: http://worldwidevillage.org/donate-now/ Scroll down to “Mission Teams & Interns”. Fill in an amount for MISSION TEAMS (not INTERNS) and put “Leger” in the box with the red asterisk.

If you can donate, we thank you in advance.   Otherwise, just keep an eye on thesavvyceliac.com, Facebook and Twitter to follow updates!

See other posts about the now completed mission trip:

Gluten-Free Mission Trip in Haiti Part 1

Gluten-Free Mission Trip in Haiti Part 2

Great Miami Airport Gluten Free Experience

 

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3 Responses to “New Gluten Free Adventure: Mission Trip to Haiti”

  1. I was so excited when I read this!! I went on a mission trip with my school this past May and it was the best week of my life. You will learn so much from the people. I was very nervous about the food situation before going on my trip but all worked out. I went to El Salvador, so I brought spanish translation card explaining celiac/ my other food allergies. I also brought a lot of my own food. Individual almond butter packets, individual tuna packets, GF pretzels, GFB bars, and chex cereal where all helpful ideas I had during the week. I also brought Schar Deli Style bread (I’m egg free too) and kept it in the fridge because the moisture would have caused it to go moldy quickly! At the end of the week I just donated my extra food so I didn’t have to bring it home.

    Below you will find a post I wrote on my blog about the experience. Have a great time. http://www.embracegfree.com/2013/08/26/finding-self-empowerment-despite-limitations/

  2. I think it’s so cool you are going on a mission trip. Our family wants to do more traveling, but the issue of eating and misunderstandings about gluten always seems to hold us back. So glad they were accomodating to you! Prayers for a safe, fun and gf trip! (And thanks for all you do to help bring awareness to celiac disease!)

  3. Thank you Nicki and Candice for your support, tips and encouragement. I am nervous about it. We only have 5 weeks or so before we leave. I am starting to stock up on Go Picnics for snacks and lemonade packets for the filtered water…

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