The morning started out with a breakfast filled with scrambled eggs, oatmeal, toast, and Haitian peanut butter - which apparently has chili peppers in it to some people’s surprise. After breakfast, the team loaded up in the tap-tap to head for Dios, which is a home for special needs children. We had originally thought it was an orphanage but it is more of a home and school. Some of the kids were home with their families for the summer as school is not in session right now. We all had fun playing with bubbles, coloring, drawing with chalk, and just being with the kids. Maurice stole many of our hearts when he held our camera hostage and looked through the lens, often times not taking a picture. A simple thing like looking through the camera screen made his day. Some of the children also played the guitars with Dave and Marty with grins from ear to ear. I think it’s safe to say we all enjoyed spending time and playing with the children!
After we said goodbye to the children at Dios, we headed to Papillon. Papillon was established by a women who came from the US to adopt a Haitian child. When she got down here, she realized the orphanage wanted a way to support the child, rather than have her adopt the child. So she established Papillon, which is an enterprise that makes jewelry, ornaments, pottery, and many more things out of recycled materials. We shopped around in the store for a while and then headed upstairs to the patio for some refreshments before our tour. Our tour consisted of walking across the street to the production side of Papillon. We watched clay and paper beads be made, as well as necklaces be put together with the clay beads. Our tour guide said Papillon started with four employees and now has over two hundred. They also have a daycare and preschool center so that the mothers have some place to send their children while they work. They are able to go over and spend time with them and nurse during their work day as well. This enterprise keeps families together and also helps support the Haitian economy which is beyond awesome!
After a little bit of R&R at the guesthouse, we headed to Mother Teresa’s Home for Sick and Dying Children. Most of the babies are there because of malnutrition. Some of them looked 2 years old and were probably 3 or 4. Words cannot describe the experience. Rooms filled with crying babies, who either wanted to be held or fed, or both. We were there during feeding time so we all picked up a bowl and helped start feeding babies! I was stuck with the slowest eaters both time, the first one being too excited and crazy to eat with all the attention, and the second one just not wanting to eat. After all the babies were fed, it was time for cuddling time! It was hard to put the babies down to go pick up another baby, because the first baby would start crying immediately which broke my heart. It’s safe to say that while our hearts were breaking, they were also so filled. Filled by the passionate workers who do this selfless work day in and out, always with a smile for the babies. Filled by the babies who would snuggle in immediately after you picked them up, just looking for a little love. And filled by our teammates, who jumped in and helped wherever they could.
Last night, we headed up to the hotel pool to cool off and relax for a little bit. It was very refreshing to relax for a little bit. We tried fried plantains for the first time which were delicious! We then came back to the guest house and had a team meeting, talking through the day and the different emotions we had. We also each shared our word for the day, describing different emotions we had felt. We then started singing songs (as we are the music team), and were joined by a few members from other teams. They were tired from their own days, so they didn’t stay very long. We then hunkered down for the night, resting up for our big day today - water truck day! I’m not really sure what to expect, but I’m very excited for it!
We thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers as we continue to serve in Haiti. We really do appreciate them!