Today we had our water give out day, it was the hardest day both physically and emotionally...but also the most rewarding. After eating a delicious breakfast at our guesthouse including freshly squeezed juice and nice fluffy pancakes (yum!), we put on our neon-green dry-fit Healing Haiti shirts and headed out on the tap-tap. Our new favorite thing to do while we ride from place to place is play a fun game called interrogation (I think). It's basically just a game where one person doesn't know what's going on and has to ask questions and based off our answers they have to find a pattern.
We went to three different places in the slums of Cite Soleil with the water truck. As soon as we would climb out of the tap-tap (the vehicle our team travels in), all the kids would come running up to us asking to be picked up and held. At first it felt a little overwhelming, but having so many kids freely giving out joy and love is probably the greatest feeling on the planet! Kids and adults would form a line like half a mile long and would bring everything they had that could contain the fresh water. We would then help different people carry heavy buckets of water down the street back to where they lived and their faces would express a look of complete thankfulness and gratitude. It seems like such an insignificant thing back where we live, but water... water is everything for them. We forget how to live lives full of joy and always seem to want more, more, more but in Haiti you can tell from the full smiles on faces that from come hearing 'jezi remen ou" (Jesus loves you) that they really are the ones who have this complex journey called life figured out. They know that having complete and radiant love from our Creator is enough, and we can learn a lot from that. While we were at each stop we would just love on the people there as well as receive love from them. We also played games like jumprope with an old wire and different hand clapping games.
In between different stops we toured different parts of Hope Village like the farm, the school/church, and medical clinic. It's amazing to see how much thought and love has been poured into this place that used to be an 80 foot trash heap.
To wrap it up I'll tell you guys about some of my favorite and most impactful moments that came from today. At our second water stop, I was able to comfort a crying girl and wipe her tears away as she wiped the sweat from my face. I could feel her heart beating in her chest, and that's when I realized that we are all just humans on this planet and we all have the same needs to feel love and happiness. At our last stop I helped some kids and a mother transfer water from a massive bucket into jugs with one makeshift funnel and one tiny measuring cup, with each scoop of water I just prayed that this would give them new strength. Finally, at that stop one little girl hung on to me the whole time and we laughed and laughed. I told her and all the kids around them to never forget that they are loved, wanted, and important and even with the language barrier, I know they understood and some would repeat the words back to me and tell me that Jesus loves me. Right before we went back we all walked down a dock leading out the the rough ocean and took a group picture. Finally, this little girl took my hand and noticed the yarn heart bracelet on my wrist and gave me the biggest hug. I motioned if she wanted it to remember this day so I slipped it on her wrist. This made final goodbyes the hardest moment of my life as we drove away from the ocean and towering mountains I couldn't help but think, everyone needs to go through this too to feel God, and to feel life. More to come tomorrow!