Hello friends and family!
Some of us woke up early to watch the sunrise from our rooftop patio, hot coffee in hand and sleepy eyes. We listened as the roosters woke up the neighborhood and watched the neighborhood slowly come alive.
Our first stop of the day was Grace Village, but not before we filled our bellies with egg scramble, oatmeal, fresh fruit, and french toast.
Our drive to Grace Village was so pretty with desert looking landscape and a beautiful view of the ocean, turquoise in color.
Grace Village has a school, orphanage, clinic, garden, and more on their grounds. They even have a playground that was originally in Bloomington, MN - it was refurbished and donated to Grace Village. It was so rewarding getting a tour from Caleb, the long term missionary who lives in Grace Village. Caleb and his family seem to love it in Haiti by observing their interactions with the staff, children, and us.
Caleb gave us a tour of the grounds, and even shared some inspiring stories of orphans with "success" stories thanks to Grace Village and Healing Haiti. The grounds were full of sweet, energetic, and happy boys who followed us around the whole tour. We gave hive fives and piggy back rides.
Caleb explained that the orphanage changed from dorm style, to family style, because they wanted the children to grow and thrive in a family atmosphere. They impressed the importance of the kids having a constant parental influence, so the children have a "mommi" and "poppi", they eat together, and interact together.
A sweet moment was when one of our group members, Erik saw a little boy he remembered from his trip to Haiti last year. The little boy lit up when he saw Erik! It was translated that the little boy remembered Erik and spent the rest of our time in Grace Village by his side. It is touching when we can see the fruits of our labor here in Haiti!
After our tour of Grace Village we waved goodbye and stopped at a shop called Rosie's, to get some souvenirs, ice cream, and iced coffee's! We then headed to our next stop - "elder visits". Grace Village has a community of elders that they provide assistance to as they are able. We visited with four different elders. Our first stop was to an elderly gentlemen who has the best spirit in the world. This man is happy as can be and has an incredible connection with our trip leader, Andrea. Today was not their first encounter! We washed his feet, applied lotion to his hands, arms, feet, legs, back, and scalp. We also provided him with a fresh shave!
Our next elder was a woman who was not feeling well. She was feeling exhausted from the heat. We prayed with her and sang her songs. This seemed to brighten her spirits as she was up and walking around just before we left - stating we "motivated" her to get up and move around. Thank God for working through our hands to give her the boost she needed for the day.
Our next elder visit was to a younger woman who keeps a close eye on the neighborhood elders. She is 37 years old and currently 5 months pregnant. We provided her with a foot and leg wash followed by lotion. We rubbed her back and prayed for her health and the health of her growing baby.
Our last elder visit was a tough one! This woman was complaining of a fever and chest pain. Because of this, she declined any cares. We still sang with her and prayed for her. Ultimately, we felt it was best that she be evaluated by a doctor. We drove her up to the clinic at Grace Village where she received IV fluids and was then taken back home to rest. All elders were also given a warm meal, a beverage, and a few bags of clean water.
Our last stop was at Fleri, a bakery and restaurant owned and operated by Healing Haiti. There is so much history behind this business and I encourage you to follow the link below to learn more about it! We enjoyed pizza, apps, and a cold beverage before heading home. We all agreed that the creole pizza was the best of the three we ordered - deluxe, bbq chicken, and creole. It was amazing!! Today was VERY busy - hence the long post :) We were tuckered out at the end of the day!