Saturday, March 11, 2017

Thank you, Haiti!

Today was our last service day in Haiti and like every other day we have been here, we made sure to fill it. We started out the day in Cite Soleil. Our first water truck stop was busy! As our truck pulled to a stop we could hear the kids chanting "Hey you! Hey you!" When we opened the tap tap door, little arms were everywhere looking for someone to pick them up and hold them. Kelly and I were on the water hose filling buckets and anything else people could use to hold water. About half way through filling buckets, the kids started bathing. They would run over to the hose, fill a pail and dump it over their heads. They laughed and laughed as the cold water ran down their little bodies. It was almost like the water washed away a little of the stress for a few moments. In those moments they were just kids playing in clean water. They weren't kids living in one of the poorest areas in the Northern Hemisphere. They were just kids. I got caught up in the moment and when I came back around I realized I had tears streaming down my face. These kids have very little, some don't even have a full outfit or shoes, and yet, they find such pure joy in the simple things. As we drove to our next stop I thought about what I had just witnessed and reflected on my own life.

The Haitian Initiative was our next stop as we waited for the water truck to refill. We got a tour of the building and the practice field. As we walked onto the field, the soccer players beamed with pride in their field. Maddie and Sherri played soccer with some of the boys, and we will just say it's a good thing they weren't keeping score because those kids a quick! The laughter on the field was carefree. Once again I was moved to tears, because these kids were able to just be kids for a little bit and our team was lucky enough to be a small part of it.

After we were done with the water truck we headed to an orphanage. We helped them make bracelets, jump rope, blow bubbles and toss a Frisbee. About half way though I looked around and was encouraged by all the smiles and fun we were all having. We didn’t speak the same language but still we could spread God’s love and let the kids know we truly care about them. The kids sang us some beautiful songs and we sang them some silly ones, which made them thing we were either funny or crazy, but either way they all laugh.

After we said our goodbyes, we headed out to Fleri for a team dinner. Watching the amazing scenery pass by I was yet again inspired to reflect on this week and really my life. I know those of us who have made this journey will not go home the same person. I know we were all changed by what we saw and the people we met. What I don’t know is how it will affect our lives once we return home. I don’t know how to thank Haiti for teaching me what truly matters in this life or how to thank God for breaking my heart so completely in 5 days and putting it back together as it is meant to be. I don’t know what the road will hold once we return to Minnesota, but I do know, thanks to this incredible country and its spectacular people I am going back a little less broken and a lot more blessed.

Glwa pou Bondye!