Thursday, March 8, 2018

Day 4: For His Glory Orphanage, Haiti Design Co., Dio's Special Needs Orphanage

For His Glory Orphanage
Hi! My name is Rylie and today our team went to a orphanage called For His Glory. As we got off the tap-tap and walked inside, the building was already filled with an immense amount of laughter and the sound of kids learning (loudly). The orphanage consisted of about 4 different rooms that held a good amount of kids of the same age in each room. Our mission today was to teach the kids about the importance of dental hygiene and show them love and attention that they may not always receive. The first group of kids that were brought out to get a cleaning and a fluoride treatment were the second youngest group containing mostly 2-4 year-olds. A little boy in a yellow Thailand shirt ran straight up to me with the biggest smile across his face and his arms up. I looked at him and I just knew, it was going to be hard to separate from him when it would be time to go. He knew how to brush his teeth, ON HIS OWN. His smile was beyond contagious and you could just tell how loved he was by not only our team, but by the staff as well. As more groups continued to go out and learn how to brush their teeth and get a fluoride treatment, you could see how happy and loved all the kids truly were. The experience I had at this orphanage was by far the best and it truly was heartbreaking to leave my little man. I was blown a few kisses and waved goodbye but my heart is still with that little boy and I'll be praying for him and the rest of the kids that reside in For His Glory.

~Rylie Unruh

Dana, applying flouride treatment 

Rylie and her "little man"

Haiti Design Co.
Next, we went to a place called Haiti Design Co. They employ 60+ Haitian artisans who create beautifully designed jewelry and bags made of various combinations of leather, beads, and fabric. While I had been there a few times before, I had not yet had the experience we had today.  When I was in Haiti last July and visited Haiti Design Co., I noticed a sign advertising an "experience," where you could choose to learn from the artisans how to create one of their items, such as a leather bracelet, a bracelet made out of leather beads, a sewing project, or even participate in a rooftop yoga experience.  You could also opt to have a meal with your experience. I was intrigued and was happy my team was excited to try it, too!  We had a really great time creating our own works of wearable art and are so excited to show them off at home and tell others about it.

Leather beaded bracelet making!

Half the group working on their leather beaded bracelets

Modeling our leather wrapped bracelets

Dio's Orphanage for Children with Special Needs
Bonswa! My name is Avery, and today we visited a special needs orphanage called "Dio's". There were about 25 or more kids there. This was one of the way nicer orphanages that we have seen. It was very big and the kids seemed to be very loved where they were. The instant we got off the Tap Tap one boy, who was about seven, came running and squealing towards us because he was SO excited. He continued running and hugging everyone throughout the visit. We brought play-doh for them to play with, danced and sang with them, and played soccer. There were a lot of things going on, but one thing I noticed was that almost every kid was very happy. One guy, maybe in his 20's, who had down syndrome, was just dancing the whole entire time (and he was GOOD at it, too!). At the beginning he was in the trunk of a truck just dancin' all by himself, and it was soo adorable. One thing that I also noticed was that all of the kids had one special thing or talent that stood out about them. There was the dancer boy, the happy boy that gave everybody hugs, and everyone just had very contagious smiles. Everyone seemed to have a great time, even Mark got to break out some of his dance moves. Usually it's very hard for me to leave orphanages, because I always feel like the kids didn't get all the love they needed. But the whole place had a very loving atmosphere, so I felt good knowing I was leaving them in good hands.  

This little guy was amazing at soccer!

Playdough fun :)

Time for a little "Tooty Ta!"