Exhausted, we traveled to the nearby Hope Village which includes a school, church, clinic, and Innovation Lab. This village was built over the last three years on an existing 25 foot pile of garbage on the coast of the Caribbean Sea. Before we began our tour, our leader Smith, lead us in the Cupid Shuffle and Cha-Cha Slide for an audience of Haitians. Our smiles were as big as the people watching us. The school is available to all children in Cite Soleil, with a current enrollment of 296. At Hope Church, we learned the Pastor's role is to guide his congregation towards a future of compassion and community. Hope Clinic employs two doctors, two nurses, and an operations manager. Here people can be treated for such things as diabetes, OB-GYN issues, fevers, and other ailments. The 9-month old Innovation Lab is actually a 40-foot storage container where 25 children can access technology teaching them problem-solving skills and cooperative learning. This brand-new virtual classroom is a stark reality compared to the life children live outside it's doors.
Our last two stops were Sakala Youth Center and the Home for Sick and Dying Children. Sakala is located in Cite Soleil and gives kids access to activities such as ping pong, basketball, and meals. Materials are extremely limited; however, we had to be creative with our time. We organized a quick game of "Duck, Duck, Poulo (chicken)" and had many takers. Soccer and string games were other ways we found to interact. The Home for Sick and Dying Children allowed us to embrace and give love to God's children.
As a team we are answering God's call to serve the Haitian people and are finding ourselves served in return.