Thursday, July 28, 2016
Rockpoint Students: Grace Village + Elder Visits + Mass Grave (Day 4)
Sak pasé from Haiti!
Today was a nice contrast to yesterday; after having our hearts broken we were able to see how Healing Haiti is working to improve Haiti. We had another fantastic breakfast made by the Haitians! We ate delicious eggs, oatmeal, French Toast, mangoes, bananas and drank grapefruit juice! After topping off the tanks we were on the road for the 45 minute drive up the mountain to Grace Village. The first thing we did when we arrived was get a tour of the beautiful facility. We began the tour in the bakery and heard about how Grace Village is starting a commercial bakery that uses no electricity and provides jobs for Haitians. Next, we ventured into the kitchen where we learned about how Grace Village provides meals for hundreds of people on a daily basis for less than a dollar a day. Then, we visited the school and library which was very refreshing because it is partially underground. We also learned about Restavik which is child slavery and how parents can be tricked into sending their children into it due to the promises of school and a better life. Later, we got to see where Grace Village raises fish. We finished the tour at the Mamie and Papie homes where the kids live with "parents". These homes have worked wonders for the kids by giving them families. We heard an amazing story of a ten-year-old boy who had lived his entire life at The Home of Sick and Dying Babies and then came to Grace Village. He was understandably overwhelmed and nervous as he stood in the doorway of his new home. The four-year-old and six-year-old living in his new home ran up to him and said, "you don't have to be scared and nervous. You aren't an orphan anymore. This is your family." It was so beautiful to see how Grace Village is restoring families. We then got to play with the kids!!! Our group split up; some of us played soccer with the kids and others just played. We did get destroyed in soccer-the score was 13-6. The other people just gave kids piggy back rides and played on the play ground. It was so much fun to just hang out with kids being kids.
We then hopped back on the Tap Tap to go to our elder visits. We went to the first of three houses; some of us went into the house to wash the elderly woman and pray for her while others stayed outside the door and sang. There was a little girl who joined our group and her smile lit up the entire area. A similar situation follow at each of the next two houses. It was so beautiful to see the women praising God. We do not know when these women last got bathed, and it was so humbling to clean their feet and bodies.
Last but not least we visited the mass grave which was so powerful to see, what terrible tragedy the people of Haiti have to come back from. In addition, it was powerful to read the quotes and realize the resiliency of the Haitian people.
For dinner we got to experience Haitian food which was so nummy! We had potatoes, plantains, broccoli, chicken, meatballs, hot sauce (which can be very dangerous), stew, rice, and beats. It was so much fun to experience more of the Haitian way of life! To finish the day we went to the pool and had so much fun being a family!
-Emily Heidick and Grant Dodds