A Story from Haiti Day 3
Saturday, July 21, 2012
It had been a day like no other since we’ve arrived here in Haiti. We headed out a little earlier this morning to go to the local school. We were setting up five different stations when the children started pouring in. All in all we had around 150 kids to entertain and show the love of God. It was definitely a challenge for our team because we were dividing them into age groups. All the stations were different and the children did not want to stay at one station for more than 20-30 minutes. As we were trying to keep them in one spot we noticed that more children were coming in. Older siblings did not want to be separated from their younger siblings. In Haiti the older siblings help raise the younger siblings. This created somewhat of an obstacle for our team. We got done setting up and loaded the bus around 11:30. I do not think I have seen our group more exhausted thus far.
We got home, got lunch ready, ate and headed off to Carrefour. There were so many things to see here that we never see in America. As we drove we saw our first tragic fatality. The way it was handled was more than disturbing and honestly it hit our group very hard. Pedestrians do NOT get the right of way here and are looked down on. As we continued our drive we got stuck in a traffic jam for roughly 20 minutes. It doesn’t seem like much but when the temperature is in the 90’s and you’re packed in a bus, it’s a long time! Benben, who helps our driver, got out to see what the hold up was. When he came back he stated that there was a man with a broken down car up ahead. No one would stop to help him. Instead, they sped around him honking their horns as they passed. Benben got out to help push. Our driver blocked the rest of traffic to help get the car out of the way (remember the bigger the car the better). Finally after a long, tough ride we made it to Carrefour.
Once at Carrefour we sat down and did arts and crafts with the children. Anything new is the biggest gush of excitement and smiles you’ve ever seen. We did face painting, sticker books and of course a snack and drink. It started to get cloudy and sprinkle just a little. Katie, one of my team members and I noticed that because it had gotten significantly cooler the children were calmer and playing a little bit better together. I’m not sure if this will make sense to those reading, something you may have to see to understand.
One huge thing that made my heart so happy was two young boys, around seven. One of the little boys had taken Ryan, another team member, down to his locker where he had several items. He pulled out a book to read, it was written in English. While I was playing jacks with a couple others little girls, he pulled me aside. He laid his book down that had picture of different animals he wanted me to read. I started reading like I would to my children. He said “no, no,” waving his hand. He pointed at the words for me to read slower. I began to read slower for him and he started repeating words back to me in English. We sat and did this for about 20 minutes. He wanted so badly to read, know and understand the English language. This was an amazing experience for me. Please pray for the team and what we have seen and been through today. We have another big and exciting day full of God will and light.