Sunday, June 26, 2016

Saturday June 25, Water Truck Morning/Apparent Project - Tammy P.


Another great day in the books for us. Our group went to Cite Soleil once again and delivered much needed water. As written in priors posts, water is not just a want in the slums, but a valuable resource to be able to continue living. Upon arriving, children seeing our truck come running with their arms outstretched and big smiles on their faces. How wonderful to see pure joy!  Seas of young, beautiful brown faces greet us with "Hey you!" and have outstretched arms to be lifted up. Children ages 5 on up and adults, holding babies in their arms, would lift the babies up for us to hopefully grab. There are so many, and while we can't hold them all, we may have 1 or 2 at a time, whispering in Creole how much we love them, how much God loves them, sing sweet songs, and play games like ring around the rosy, London bridge, give horse back rides, and play clapping games. These kiddos just fill up our hearts to overflowing. That is why most short term missionaries who come here with Healing Haiti, return again and again. We get so much more than we could ever give.

Our group had a chance to refresh after water truck and so many of us walked over to the nearby hotel pool. It is such a nice place to cool off, relax or play, eat french fries, and swim.

After the break, our group went to the Apparent Project or Papillon (butterfly) Enterprises. It is a place for consumers to purchase items from the Haitian people. Apparent Project creates jobs for mothers and fathers who don't want to abandon their children to orphanages because they can't feed them. It provides opportunities to women who have never had an education and who can't write their names. It provides hope through the dignity of a job, training in the ability to create something new out of something discarded, using material that has deemed worthless and then breathing beauty into again.

We helped the Haitian economy by purchasing beautiful jewelry made out of clay, old cereal boxes, beads, and/or metal. Clay pottery, metal art, clothing, Christmas ornaments, headbands, heated up wine bottles that have been flattened, embroidered towels are just some of the items that can be found there. Pizza Amore is located upstairs and our group enjoyed some amazing pizza in a tropical open air setting covered by a huge thatch roof.

Our group continues to bond over serving together, eating and praying together, loving up the locals together, and having a raucous time laughing and singing in the tap tap and elsewhere. What a beautiful experience it is!

Water Truck Day 2-By Darren

Yesterday we had the chance to take the team back into Cite Soleil for a 1/2 day of helping on the water truck.  We met the water truck just outside of Cite Soleil and followed it into an area called 4 Coffins.  This seems to be the poorest of the poor as far as Cite Soleil neighborhoods go.  Most of the houses are made of sheets of tin.  
What amazed me was the orderliness of the people as we began to distribute water.  During some water stops pure chaos seems to be the prevailing activity.  Not here, the people que'd up for the most part and the process of distributing our 2500 gallons of fresh water went very well.
Also incredible at this stop were the children.  From the time we parked and tried to get out of the tap tap, the kids were everywhere!  
One little boy stood out to me.  I'm holding him in the first picture.  He was burning up with fever, looked incredibly malnourished and lethargic.  He seemed most content with me simply holding him and at times he'd lay his head on my shoulder and fall asleep.  At those moments I would hug him tightly.  My heart was breaking knowing that in a few short minutes I'd have to put him back on the ground and leave.  The toughest part of this is not knowing what will happen to him.  In the last few minutes of being there, I closed my eyes and prayed that God would protect this sweet little boy and make him strong and healthy.  It's these moments, where my heart gets broken that makes these trips so compelling for me.  If you study the photos of many of these children you'll see a deep and quiet desperation in their eyes.  
The other insight I had at this stop was in seeing the amount of children whos hair color was a burnt orange.  This is an indication of malnutrition in these children.  Again, another very sad reality of the poverty that truly exists in Cite Soleil as well as many other part of Haiti.