We started off our day today by going to New Hope Activity Center, in a neighborhood that one of the Healing Haiti staff is from, to play with the children there. Smith originally told us there would only be around 60 children, but this was not the case. As we arrived into a seemingly small building, a flood of sweet smiling faces began greeting us by shaking our hands. The initial amount of children in the building seemed perfect, we brought enough balls, jump ropes, and bubbles to keep them pleased. However, more and more children began showing up, until eventually the courtyard was packed wall to wall. We were swarmed with kind smiles and warm hugs from children we had never seen in our lives. They didn’t care what we looked like or who we might be, they just took us in as we were and loved on us until our hearts were full. One might assume this would be an overwhelming experience, and while they wouldn’t be wrong, it was incredible to be in that courtyard, watching as it flooded each second with the beautiful Haitian children.
We weren’t quite sure what exactly we were going to do with nearly 200 kids, but we managed to do so much. They were truly fascinated with the colors and textures of our hair as well as the color of our skin. For a majority of the time, we sat as the girls styled our hair and closely examined our hands. As they pulled at our hair and made their best efforts to comb out the tangles with their fingers, we sat patiently, even though it was a bit painful at times.
The children here have found so many ways to bless us just in the days we’ve been here. We have both fallen for so many kids while being here, and we both hope to remember all of them when we return to the states.
-Meghan Runyon and Abigail Wille