I woke up at my usual time of 7:55 this morning (breakfast is at 8) and crawled out of bed. Everyone was in their usual “It’s early” moods as Carol rounded us up for breakfast. We ate an amazing breakfast of eggs and pancakes then climbed into the Tap-Tap. Dust caked our arms and faces as the city faded into the country side and we all turned to watch as beauty flashed before our eyes. The drive was our longest with 45 minutes there and 45 minutes back, however, we laughed so hard we almost cried and sang our hearts out. Finally, we reached Grace Village. Grace Village was started by people who saw the need for education in Haiti. When we arrived, the children were doing their usual routine with soccer games in two places, girls giggling with each other, and boys being boys. As I looked around, I saw all the potential the kids have. They happily laughed with each other and ran up and down the playground with not a care in the world. Our tour guild told us about Grace Village and how they are trying to provide education for Haitian children and adults so they can go home to provide for their families or grow up to be successful and happy.
After Grace Village, we went to see the Elders. These people brought smiles to our faces and eagerly invited us into their homes or their yards. We set up instruments and washed the hands and feet of God. We sang songs to them and prayed for their health as they closed their eyes and let us comfort them. In the last Elder’s house, children from the neighborhood came to be with us. A little girl grabbed my hand and sat beside me and in the moment, all I wanted to do was pick her up and dance. I found my feet tapping or my head bobbing to the music. We sang in English but the Elders didn’t seem to mind. The first Elder closed her eyes and amongst all the chaos, she lifted her hand above the rumble to God, and danced.
To end our day, we went to Fleri, which is an organization run by Grace Village which is their job creation ministry. At the bakery, the most amazing goods are made by hard working Haitians. They make the baked goods with confidence and happiness which really shows in the treats. I smiled as cookie crumbs fell onto my shirt and frosting caked my face. On the ride back, I fell asleep to my thoughts.
-Team Member Abby
P.S. Team Member Sherri says hi.