Saturday, March 16, 2019

March 16: Day 6 (Haiti Deaf Academy, Olympic Training Center tour, Croatian Relief Orphanage)

 Bonjour! We started off our morning with a delicious breakfast once again made by the sweetest staff. Abby had her 18th birthday today so she was awaken by all the mom's singing happy birthday to her! She had a plate of fresh cut mangoes with candles in them! We then headed off to our first serving destination in this beautiful country: Haiti Deaf Academy (HDA). We had an assembly line the night before and prepared a lunch bag of protein bars, fruit snacks, apple sauce, and peanut butter sandwiches to bring along for each one. None of us have ever been to HDA before so it was a first experience for all of us. We met such sweet, polite, well mannered, thankful kids who, despite the language barrier, found ways to communicate with us! Everyone connected in some way, whether playing basketball, with the parachute, bubbles, chalk, balloons, embroidery floss for making bracelets. Abby learned how to sign Happy birthday as well. We also did a song again with tooth-brushing puppets by Abby and Ally and applied fluoride to all the kids' teeth.

Our next stop was a tour of the Olympic training center just outside the city of Titanyen. We saw how a many variety of sports were offered there for different schools to participate in learning how to play such as: tennis, pickle ball, boxing, tae kwon do, track, soccer. This is the training center that is also used for Olympic athletes to train.

Our last serving stop was at Croatian Relief orphanage where we were greeted by the kids singing us some sweet songs. They had the biggest mango trees overhead and roosters roaming on the grounds. We had a slower connection with the kids at the start as quite a few of them were sick. There were a lot of older teens here; roughly 30. Our kids connected with basketball, soccer, coloring, modeling clay, Creole-English flash cards, and painting nails. We had a sense that due to kids not feeling that great, we would end our visit a little short. Overall, what a beautiful 91 degree day to celebrate Abby's 18th birthday!!!! Bon fet Abby!

~Julie & Abby