Today we woke up to a delicious breakfast being cooked by the Haitian staff in our guesthouse. They have the magic touch when it comes to egg scrambles and oatmeal, and the fresh bananas and mangos were a treat.
The first place we visited was Peace Cycle - a recycling business set up by a woman from Indiana named Rose. Because there is not fresh water, Haitian's drink out of square water bags about the size of a bean bag. A lot of those bags just end up in the streets or tossed out.
At Peace Cycle, the Haitians recycle water bags and turn them into some of the neatest creations. We learned that about 8 million bags are consumed in ONE DAY in Haiti.
Rose's mission with the Haitian people is to lessen the waste that is generated.
Once the bags are collected, Haitians cut them open, clean them, iron them in sets of four with an iron powered by charcoal, cut them to equal size and start sewing. Some of the things they make from the recycled bags are reusable shopping bags, wallets, purses and wine bottle carriers. With each sale, the Haitians track the amount of bags that have been recycled.
Our second stop was at the Sweet Home orphanage. There were a handful of children about the age of four watching us as the Tap Tap pulled in through their gates. Some of them were shy, but one little guy, Zachary, wasted no time getting familiar with us and being silly. The other children followed suit. They snuggled right into our laps, and we blew bubbles and played ball with them. It was tough to walk away.
Our last stop was at the Laloo Orphanage. This time we were outnumbered by the children. They were little older - maybe 7-12 years old. To get everyone comfortable we brought out toys and a craft to do with them and played a game of basketball. We did a little song and dance with the kiddos which called people to the middle of the circle to dance silly. It's safe to say it was outside of a lot of our comfort zones, but well worth it. It seemed tougher for the older girls to get involved with us right away but once they warmed up, they showed us their love for hair, and pulled out our pony tails and started braiding. Prior to our leaving, the kiddos gathered and sang us a song. Tears!
We are back at the compound and are looking forward to our first water truck day tomorrow and a hot meal of lasagna tonight.