Friday, August 17, 2018

Church, Orphanages, and Papillion

August 17th 2018-Friday

Some of us rise early and enjoy coffee on the rooftop and get to see the sunrise. We can hear the tent church services that begin around 5 am. Today, we attended that church and prayed with the Haitians. Despite the language barrier we worshiped together. As is usual, many smiling faces pulled us into their singing and dancing. It was quite the aerobic workout hand in hand as we danced in the aisles. There was a large feeling of community. 
We walked home treading the stony streets and hills. Traffic was considerable congested with beeping to let us know they were coming. In heavy traffic there is a lot of honking.
Phaunis and Alta (our cooks) again prepared a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs and French toast, oatmeal, and fresh local fruit (watermelon, papaya, mango, bananas, avocado) AND fresh squeezed juices.
As soon as the tap-tap was loaded we were off to Croatian Relief, an orphanage that was started by three nuns from Croatia. We found the facility to be well run with friendly staff, well mannered children who were well clothed. The Team led by Ashley, told the story of Daniel and the Lions Den with improvising from various members of the group to provide the King Daniel, and Lions. Many games were played with the children including soccer, basketball, and crafts.
From there we adventured to Papillon, a for-profit combination production  site, cafe and retail shop. Papillon was started by a woman from the United States, Shelly Jane. She came to Haiti to adopt a child and due to many regulations on doing so, she decided to start an industry where by families had employment and were able to earn enough to keep their children. Papillion (which means “butterfly”) is both a job creation and orphan prevention measure. Papillon can be accessed online at All items are handmade and include clay wear, jewelry, dolls, linens, clothing, cards, etc. Papillon was started with four employees and now employs over 200. Child care and schooling is available to employees at no charge. We were also treated to a tour of their manufacturing unit.
The currency in Haiti is the Goud. There are about 64 Goudes to a dollar. Items are fairly cheap by U.S standards but unattainable to many Haitians. Some items are expensive; a gallon of ice cream was 20 bucks.
Our last stop today divided our team in half. Some attended an orphanage called Gertrude’s. My half was able to feed and love babies at another orphanage. Some were sick and dying others were bright eyed beautiful children- all hungry and ready for interaction.
The day was full, hot, and humid. Our showers were a blessing - cold but still a blessing. We came home to a spaghetti dinner already on the table, best we’ve ever eaten.