Today we split up into our two ministry teams. In the morning each team went to a different orphanage. Lea and Brice's team went to the orphanage called 'Home sweet home'. Home Sweet Home is an orphanage that began after the earthquake 7 years ago when many children found themselves homeless and seeking refuge. A man who saw the children in need decided to utilize a patch of land that he had bought previously to serve as a place for those children.--And thus was this orphanage born! Today, it houses many children with ranging ages. It provides a loving home for any children (mostly orphans of poverty), educates them in their on-site school and makes them truly feel like they are at home until they can find a permanent home by adoptive parents. Our ministry team had an amazing time today as we loved on all of the beautiful children that are currently living at Home Sweet Home. Some highlights were playing soccer with the young boys, singing praises to God with the children and lots of piggy-back rides! :) Certainly a wonderful experience filled with God's love!!
Austin and Ann's team went to an orphanage for disabled children called 'Gertrudes'. It started with Austin taking out his guitar and toy instruments being handed out. Immediately every kid's face lit up. We had a fun time dancing, singing and holding the kids during this time. It gradually transitioned outside to their playground where wheel chair races were held, children were swinging and playing basketball.
Today I(Katie) was pushing a girl in a wheelchair with two flat tires. It was much harder than pushing a regular wheelchair. After a few minutes I started to become tired and it was very tough but I started thinking about how hard her life is. The smile on her face and the joyful squeels she was making encouraged me to keep going even when I was tired.
-Katie and Annika C.
On the first day, I was exhausted. Wake up at 2:30 am, drive to the airport at 3:00 am. And we got on the plane and left at 6:05 am. We were on a pretty small plane without televisions, or anything to do but sleep. Since I can't sleep on planes or anything of the sort, I downloaded a movie with the hour of WiFi I had and watched it until I couldn't watch it anymore since I was out of internet time given to me. So then we got off the plane, waited an hour for our next flight and sat on the plane for an hour and ten minutes and took off. I finished my movie only with a few minutes to spare, and here we were in Haiti. I had been waiting for months to arrive here, and here I was. Standing in the middle of the airport, sweating like Niagara Falls, but I was finally here.
Haiti was a lot different than I had expected, but it was perfect. It had beautiful mountains, colourful houses on the streets, and beautiful people, plants and everything. I had thought that Haiti was going to be only homes made from metal scraps and blankets, and sick and dying people. But no. It wasn't. It was so much more different than what I had expected it to be. There still was the things that I thought there was going to be, but Haiti was so much different than I thought, and so much more beautiful!
On the second day, we went to 3 different places in City Solei. The first stop had my heart. It was so amazing how much joy a bucket of water and a few Americans could bring to a group of people. Right once I got to the first stop, children surrounded the Tap-Tap and one by one they were picked up by the other people in my team. I was one of the last people to get out, so all of the children had left to follow them. So I went and followed everyone and was weirdly standing in our group wondering if any kid would want me to pick them up. After some time, a little girl came up to me with her arms up in the air wanting me to pick her up, and of course I picked her up and we exchanged names and smiles since I don't know much french. After holding her for a minute or two, she slid down my side and pointed at a little boy near me and had him come closer to me and he put his hands up and I picked him up. It amazed me how the little girl, who was probably 7 or 8, gave up being held to another little boy, just to let him be loved.
After a while, I held plenty of kids and danced and played a game. And then a little girl named Daniella, ran up to me and I held her until a young boy yelled, "Hey, You!" and pointed to a bucket, referencing to him wanting me to carry it to his house. So I put Daniella down, and picked up the bucket and let the little boy show me where he wanted to bring it. After less than 10 seconds, I felt a hand holding onto the back of my shirt. And after I brought the bucket to the little boys house, I found out that it was Daniella. That happened so many more times and she didn't want to leave me and I loved her so much. She had my heart. After I said good bye and set her down, she grabbed my hand like we were just going to walk again, but I had to tell her that I was leaving. And I wanted to cry because she was the sweetest girl I had ever met and I didn't want to leave her.
I thought it was so amazing that I was able to communicate with so many people, even though there was a language barrier. I could speak a few words and phrases which made it easier to understand and have small conversations, but it was tough. But it was amazing how we all were able to communicate though actions, expressions and games.
Today we were split into our teams and went to two different orphanages. My group went to NPLH(No Place Like Home). Once we got to the orphanage, we went on a tour since the children were eating breakfast. But once they came out, I was so excited to meet them. One of the kids named Christopher jumped on me immediately. He was so full of energy and wanted to be carried the whole time even though he weighed a lot. But he was full of so much joy and light, and it made me so happy to see how much joy all the children could have when they don't have any parents and would never know what it felt like to have someone that they could call mom or dad. But they were so happy and it amazed me and just made me so happy.
After a while, one of the workers asked if she could take a photo of me, but I said yes because I just felt like I should even though I don't like being in photos. But after taking a photo, she kept on saying "belle" and I just couldn't hold back a smile because I knew what it meant(Beautiful) and it was so kind. I don't think of myself that way and it just made my morning when she said that.
In the afternoon we went to Papillon/ The Apparent Project. And saw people making jewelry and pottery and other things. At the Apparent Project, 201 people from Haiti are employed and payed well enough to help them survive and provide for themselves, and their families. I thought it was amazing that someone decided to employ and help so many people in Haiti and make their lives easier by providing them jobs and money.
I may or may not have spend a lot of money in the gift shop at The Apparent Project, but it was worth it because (1) I got a cool shirt and other gifts for family and some friends and (2) the money I spent is going to help the people that work there survive and provide for their loved ones.
This week so far had been incredible and I know that I'll never forget what had happened and I can't wait for tomorrow and the rest of the week.
Until next time,