Friday, May 27, 2016

Hope in Haiti

Word of the Day: Hopeful

Today we were supposed to go to Cite Soleil for a second water truck day, but because God blessed the Haitian people with lots of rain last night, water wasn't needed. So after a quick change of plans, we went to the Home for Sick and Dying Babies a second time. I felt a mix of emotions, but mainly I was anxious as the first time was so emotionally draining, I assumed this time would be as well. However, much to my surprise, I saw this experience through a different lens.

In order to explain my word of the day fully, I need to back up a few days to our first water truck day in Cite Soleil. Cite Soleil is the 3rd poorest slum in the world, and the things I saw that day were heart breaking...Naked children running the streets, a child defecating in the street, trash everywhere filled with syringes, pigs wandering around, and shantys made of sheet metal no bigger than 10x10 that housed 8+ people. What we all saw that day really can't be put into words, but it left me feeling sad for the people, guilty for what I have, and frankly angry.

Fast forward to today, I was able to see these small children and feel grateful that a place like Sick and Dying Babies exists, and hopeful that these children have a chance to thrive and grow into healthy children of God. Their small frames get fed warm meals and snacks daily, they are safe from gang violence, they have clothing and shelter, and all their needs are being met. This is not the case for the children who live in Cite Soleil.

We then went to La Phare Orphanage which houses 17 kids ranging from 3-15. We brought a craft and the children absolutely loved it! There was one girl who latched on to me the moment I got there and wouldn't let go until we left. I think her craft was the prettiest one, but I may be biased :) We then sang worship songs in English and in Creole <3 It was amazing to see how music brought everyone together. This was the first time I teared up on this trip for joyful reasons as opposed to sorrow. Again I felt hopeful for the children at this orphanage because they are able to go to school (school costs money in Haiti so several children don't get the opportunity), they know where their next meal is coming from, and they are provided for. God is so good!

We were able to end the day by unwinding a bit from an emotionally draining few days by going to a local restaurant called Kokoye (meaning coconut). We had the opportunity to have our driver accompany us and spent time asking him lots of questions about Haitian culture and comparing the differences and similarities with American culture.

Overall, today was a lot of fun and many people felt better about the Home for Sick and Dying Babies than the first time we went :)