After a trip to Haiti earlier this year, one local man is eager to return for an extended visit.

Adam Ratterree recently returned from a 10-day trip to the small village of Chambrun, Haiti, which is about five miles from the capital city of Port Au Prince. While there, Ratterree and other members of his group engaged in a number of service projects and activities during their visit.

Ratterree said the opportunity to visit Haiti came about after he attended a service at Emmanuel Baptist Church early in 2013. After the service, Ratterree said he was helping the church's musical guest load up equipment when he was invited to a fellowship.

During the fellowship, Ratterree learned of the trip to Haiti and expressed his interest in going. Over the next several months, Ratterree began planning for the trip, which included raising $1,500 to cover travel expenses. Ratterree also donated a portion of the money he raised to Nehemia Vision Ministries, the nonprofit organization that sponsored the trip to Haiti.

Over the course of the 10-day trip, Ratterree and his fellow travelers spent a great deal of their time at a small compound that housed a church, a school and an orphanage. He said the school educated about 100 students and about 250 people attended the church.

Upon his arrival at the compound, Ratterree said one of his first tasks was to assist with building storage shelves for some of the staff members who were living and working at the compound. He said the staff members were living in small, hotel-like rooms and living out of their suitcases because they didn't have anywhere to store their belongings.

Ratterree said he also helped with other tasks including distributing a week's worth of Iburprofen in packages to residents.

While a portion of his time in Haiti was devoted to various service projects, Ratterree said he had time to explore Chambrun, as well as the neighboring city of Onaville, which is home to thousands of Haitians who were displaced by the 2010 earthquake that devastated Port Au Prince.

Ratterree said he had the opportunity to speak with some of the Haitians who lived in Onaville and many of them had lost a relative in the earthquake.

In one instance, Ratterree said he spoke to a man who survived the earthquake and the man described to him how he was so terrified of what was happening that he couldn't move. That fear was common, Ratterree said, because a number of people he spoke to were afraid to return to Port Au Prince in the wake of the earthquake.

Before his group departed at the end of the 10-day trip, Ratterree recalled how during a tour of the school at the compound he noticed holes in the concrete floor that a child could step into and suffer an injury. The day before he was scheduled to leave, Ratterree woke up early and found a bag of concrete that was tucked away in storage.

He then located the compound's maintenance man and the two began mixing the concrete and patching one of the holes. Ratterree said that particular moment really stood out to him because he was able to teach the maintenance man, who hadn't worked with concrete before, how to mix and apply the concrete.

Since returning from his visit, Ratterree said he is already eager to return and continue to help the people of Haiti. During his visit, he was shown a three acre farm that was located just outside of the compound where he stayed.

The farm offered a limited variety of fruits and vegetables and was watered with a makeshift irrigation system. During a return visit, Ratterree said he would like to help with the planting and be able to teach people more about farming.

Before he returns to Haiti, Ratterree said he will teach himself the Creole language so he can better communicate with people. Ratterree said is planning on returning to Haiti for a 100-day service mission.

Those interested in learning more about the trip can attend a discussion Ratterree is holding Sunday, Feb. 23, at the First Baptist Church in Belfast at 11 a.m. Ratterree will talk about his experience visiting Haiti and answer questions from the audience.