Thursday, July 6, 2017

Saint Mary's U of M Day 4

As today comes to an end I can’t help but think about the same moment in my day. Although today was filled with joy, beautiful artwork, and friendship, but there was some down parts. Today we had our second and last water day of this trip. We visited “Station 26” in Cite Soleil for the second time. The main thing I noticed about this station that was different from the others is that it was a lot more chaotic. Chaotic in the way that the people were a lot more aggressive when fighting for their water. Even the children seemed to be more aggressive when asking us to play with them or carry them. But the moment that keeps replaying in my head is about one particular little boy that had to be no older than 6 years old. He was different from the rest of the children. When he came up to me he didn’t seem excited or happy, but instead he just reached his hands up asking me to pick him up. When I picked him up I just felt him grab onto me as tightly as he could and lay his head on my shoulder. In that moment I felt my heart drop because I could tell that’s all he truly wanted, to be held by someone… At that moment I decided to only hold that one child for the rest of our time there and make sure he felt loved and secure even if it was just for a moment. I did not get the chance to catch his name but I won’t forget the way it felt when I picked him up. Today we also went to the capital where there was a market with small tents set up where people were selling their beautiful handmade crafts. From the moment we got off the tap tap to the moment we left we were crowded by people selling their stuff and yelling “miss, miss!” It was a very overwhelming stop especially since I was never able to leave the same stand since they all came and crowded around me. After that we went to the top of the mountain where we got to see a whole different side of Haiti. Here we were able to see beautiful houses and large high end hotels. Once we reached the top of the mountain we were able to see the view and it was amazing. Amazing in two ways, the first is that we were able to see over everything and it was breathtaking. The second thing that amazed me about being at the top of the mountain is that we couldn’t see all poverty and all the things wrong with Haiti. Overall, the trip has been amazing and it has inspired me to serve those in need in every way that I can. Blessings to our families. We all miss you!


Saint Mary's U of M Day 3 (A Day Late)

Sorry! We couldn't get internet connection last night!

After a day where we were able to experience a sense of helplessness as we only contributed to one solution while visiting the poverty stricken Cite Soleil, today we were able to experience the hope that Healing Haiti has created for the children born in those difficult circumstances. Today we had the opportunity of visiting the Sweet Home Orphanage, which provides care and shelter for around 30 children, the Croatian Relief Services Catholic run charity which provides for around 50 children, and we were even able to switch it up a bit by visiting the artists at the Croix De Bouquet metal market. Our time at the orphanages was spent bonding with the children, teaching them how to make necklaces with bead crosses, helping them color white t-shirts that we brought them, teaching them new songs as we sang, laughed and danced around to the songs that coach shared with us, and we also shared snacks with them. The unique aspect to the Croatian relief services is that although Haitian law does not allow for the children to stay in orphanages once they turn 18, the Croatian Relief Services provide a separate center for those children who have outgrown the orphanage. It was at the Croatian Relief Services center where I met many of the kids and exchanged names asking them “kijan ou rele?” (Key-shjah oo rAlAy), or “what is your name?” The majority of my time was spent with my new little buddy Max, who is around 5 years old. At first it was difficult getting over the language barrier which even the translators spent some time trying to figure it out. One of the translators, Emmanuel, realized that the young boy was mispronouncing the name and that he was trying to say “ocean”, describing that design of a fish that was given to him to help paint his shirt. I enjoyed the quality time that I was able to spend with Max, as I outlined the design of the fish for him and he followed along connecting the dots. After our time at the Croatian Relief Services center, we headed off to Croix De Bouquet which is a metal market. On our there we passed cites of all sorts, as venders packed the streets, cars created chaos as the drivers had no fear of cutting one another off and inched the closest possible to the vehicles ahead. We also passed piles by piles of garbage and a tan-colored river probably used as sewage. The ride there alone was worth the trip but once we arrived to the market, we realized why our leaders were so eager to take us. We were welcomed by clanging of metal and greeted with a smile by the artists as we stepped off the tap tap bus and they guided us toward their shops. The sight of their work was remarkable and made it hard to believe that it was they who put in the work as they included such detail and focus. Looking at the day overall, it was full of love and beauty. It was truly a blessing to us on this trip. I am looking forward to many more cherished moments and learning experience. Blessings to those reading this and a special hello to my family in Arizona.
Glory to God,