Alrighty friends and family it’s Max back again and on today’s edition of the blog I am joined by Juju! She will also be a junior next year at EPHS and this is her first trip down in Haiti. Both of us went to the home for sick and dying today but got
to hear about Dio’s, the special needs orphanage that the other half of the team visited, stick around for later in today’s blog.
After some much needed rest last night we woke up to a great breakfast this morning. Pancakes, fresh fruit, and eggs were all on this morning’s menu. The team then split up for the morning activities to head to two different locations. Ten of us had the privilege of visiting the home for sick and dying children. Most of us are still trying to process and express our emotions from what we saw today at the home but we will do our best to paint a picture for you. The home is a small secluded compound split into three different sections. One room for the very sick babies, another for the babies and infants that are in a bit better shape, and a third for the older kids that were getting ready to go home. We both started in the second room and were immediately met by rows of cribs, each occupied by a crying baby with outstretched arms that just wanted your attention. As many of us quickly learned, two arms just aren’t enough when there are that many crying babies, and even if you do get one to stop crying by picking them up, the moment you set them back down their crying starts right back up again. Many of us found this very heartbreaking and it was near impossible to pull ourselves away. We then headed up the stairs and were bombarded with little kids all trying to give you a giant hug. These kids were in much better shape and for a moment you didn’t even realize that you were playing with sick kids. Cam had a great experience with one of the little boys in the room. He was quiet at first but Cam started playing with him and brought him out of his shell. The room was fairly small for the amount of kids that it held, but there were beautiful pictures and paintings lining the walls. Cam was pleasantly surprised when the little boy in his lap pointed to the picture of the last supper on the wall and picked out Jesus and several other religious and humanitarian figures around the world. On the contrary, several of us talked about how if you tried to spread your attention to more than one kid, the first kid would almost seem like he felt betrayed and get angry at you or cut you off. We had a great time playing and comforting the kids in the room but it was heartbreaking to have to pull ourselves away from them when we went to another kid or room. The third and final room was the most heartbreaking. It is almost indescribable what we experienced but holding and comforting the tiniest babies in their most vulnerable environment is truly life changing.
Grace Ose here with a recap of Dio’s. Dio’s is a really special place for handicapped children in Haiti. During our visit today, we got to experience “spa time”. We had the priviledge to help bathe the children, brush their teeth, brush their hair and provide a pedicure. These care providers and children were amazing, kind and joyful and it gave us much hope for these handicapped children in Haiti. The boys on our team also helped give the boys at the orphanage haircuts which was a new and nerve racking experience for all of them, but…..they did a great job and Jeff only took off one ear (just kidding)!! They looked great! Their smiles and sweet spirits will be with us for a long time!
The team then packed up and regrouped with the other half of our team to head to the Apparent Project for the afternoon. The Apparent Project was started in 2011 by a woman named Shelly from the U.S. She had come down to Haiti in 2007 to adopt a child, but soon realized that the parents of the child really didn’t want to give the her away. The parents could no longer support her in their current situation and that is where the idea for the Apparent Project was born. AP now employs 201 on-site workers who all have a family to support, and they are all able to do that by making arts and crafts with 100% recycled materials. You can check out some of their work at the link that I left below. We also got a tour of AP and it was amazing to see how they make all of their merchandise. After our tour of the Apparent Project we all loaded back up into the Tap Tap for a short ride over to Le Phare. Le Phare was a small orphanage that we got to spend a few minutes at and do a nice craft activity with the kids. We sang songs and made crowns out of paper to signify Jesus being the Prince of Peace and King of Kings. It was a nice little visit and all of us enjoyed our time there. Circle time tonight had some very deep and meaningful conversations about today’s experiences but we think it is going to take more than a few days for most of us to be able to reflect on what we experienced today. On a lighter note, USA pulled out the win in the neighborhood soccer game before the field was overrun by kids for the serious soccer tourney. Tomorrow the team head’s for Cite Soleil to deliver water. Come back tomorrow for our recap of that!
Gen espwa zanmi mwen,
Max, Juju, and Grace O