I once again started my day on the balcony with my Bible and coffee. After breakfast we headed back to around the same area we were at the day before. Today we were visiting Diddi’s other orphanage that housed young boys and the girls. I guess the boys from the day liked us soo much that they wanted to come over too. So Diddi brought them over on the bus to spend the day with us and the other children.
When we arrived we found another hole, with another man 30 feet underground digging and digging trying to find water. I was also told by one of the older boys who spoke pretty good English that my name sounded much like the Creole term for “The House”. Pretty cool. A part of our group quickly started in on painting a couple of the bedrooms and had help from one of the boys again. He loved to paint.
The rest of us did a mini VBS to start the day, and before we got started the children sang us a song.
The Bible story we decided to tell was the story of Zacchius. 16 year old Jimmy had heard the story and volunteered to play the part of Zacchius and steal other’s belongings and climb the tree to see Jesus. The rest of the children loved the enactment.
We then moved to the backyard for some more soccer, volleyball, and even a game of duck duck goose! This is also the time when we all introduced to Neldine, AKA “Little Miss Sass”. Also, on Saturdays Diddi has a “open house” type program where any kid in the neighborhood and come over, play, and get a good meal. One of the kids who came was a little crippled boy who could barely walk. He spent the day playing with flash cards, eating lunch, and even receiving a new pair of shoes. Turns out, he had been over before a while back and Diddi’s sister who is a physical therapist had sent her a pair of crutches months ago after meeting the little boy. Diddi remembered this and her face instantly lit up as she ran to her room to get him the crutches. Her joy in remembering what and who the crutches were for was almost more than she could even bare. It was a beautiful sight seeing that young boy gain the ability to move around a little better.
The education system in Haiti is flawed. Almost all schools are private, and many children cannot afford to go. Those who can afford to go receive a limited amount of knowledge due to the lack of properly trained teachers. At the orphanage, Diddi has all of her children in school. Susan Marx and I spent a lot of our afternoon working with some of the girls with some flash cards working on their English and reading. One particular girl named Tita was a very good reader come to find out.
One of the most rewarding moments of the day for me was getting to talk with Jimmy. We spent a good half hour talking about sports, politics, America, and life. He is such a smart and insightful boy at 16. I pray that he stays on the right path and gets the guidance and help he needs to become a successful man. He definitely has the talents and character to do so, even after his very troubling past.
At lunch time I realized how considerate and giving these children were. The older boys always waited and made sure the young boys and all the girls got their food before they got their own. We also gave the kids bags of candy and one little boy went around to every single child handing out smarties before he ever took one for himself. After lunch Murphy came by with bags of shoes. Each kid got to get a nice pair for church and another pair for everyday use. These kids were so grateful just to have a pair of shoes that they did not even care what they looked like for the most part. They just wanted them to fit. Well except for little Pierre. He didn’t care if they fit. All he wanted was a pair of soccer cleats. Luckily Heather was able to help him out and find a pair that actually fit him. The look on that little boy’s face after she tied a pair of used cleats on his little feet. Man. So humbling.
After shoes were handed out, candy shared, walls painted, and many many hugs given, it was time to head back home. I don’t know about everyone else, but I had totally forgotten that today was July 4th until our pastor Wesley stood up before dinner and started belting out God Bless America and ended the meal with the Star Spangled Banner. I think our Haitian drivers/translators got quite the kick out of that! After dinner we wound down by sitting in the dark and braiding each other’s hair. We all said it felt like we were little girls at G.A. camp again. A great way to end an amazing day.