Saturday, September 24, 2016

Fun With HDA Kids

Today we started off our day with delicious pancakes and scrambled eggs, with yummy bananas and avocados. The freshly squeezed mango juice that the staff prepared for us was so good; many people had refills until there was so little that they finally asked people if they wanted juice! (lol). Anyways, we did our morning devotions while shedding some emotional tears from how touching the message was. We then took our Tap Tap to Haiti Deaf Academy (HDA) in Cabaret. It took a while to get to HDA, but we had fun chatting away.

When we arrived we were greeted and welcomed with wonderful smiles of joy. A few children braided the girls on the team's hair, which made us look much more fashionable. Many of us enjoyed watching the children play with Log Cabin and Jenga. Some of us played soccer with several boys.  Most of us and children spent time writing on the chalkboard. While the leaders were busy taking photos of us in action, and some of us played with large puzzles with the children. A few of us used a picture book to ask the children what is their sign for each image, and we were amazed at our similar most of our signs were.  Some of their signs were different from ours. All of the children had BIG white smiles on their faces, and gave us so much unconditional love and hugs. We all shared our names, and our name signs. We were amazed at how many name signs for boys were near the forehead, and girls were near the chin. Some of us gave piggy back rides to the smaller children. They were so surprised and couldn't believe that the two teenagers on the team missed school to visit them!

After we left HDA, some of us were completely worn out and ready to sleep at 2:00 pm!! We went to Haitian National Memorial and Peace Park where there is a mass unmarked grave for all the earthquake victims. We listened to one of the Healing Haiti staff tell us his story about his experience with the earthquake in January 2010. Even though it was fairly short, it was very destructive and deadly.  He told us that he was in his classroom when it occurred to him that the ground was shaking. If they were in the old classroom, that was still standing at the time, they would have died. Many buildings and homes collapsed during and after the earthquake. There were 52 aftershocks all the way till late February! All of us knew that it had to be God that protected him and his siblings, along with his parents. Many relatives of people in the earthquake gave up looking for their family in fear that they would have to face the fact that most would never see them again.

All in all it was a wonderful day ending with pizza at Pizza Amour and word of the day. Many words were positive and surrounding one main word, love.

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