Wednesday, Day 5 of the trip. The guys working at the Village of Hope started their day bright and early. Fueled by Debbie's fantastic pancakes, mangoes, and yogurt, they hopped on the pickup to head to the worksite at 7. They successfully completed the two major projects today! Jim Cantrell, Jim Corbett, and Mark finished the roof of the latrine, while Gene, jim B., George, Mike, Bert, and our Haitian friends Christophe (the Big Boss), Odney (our driver), and Populaire (our muscle), finished the construction of the incinerator. The work day was highlighted by more visits from curious schoolchildren and Jim Cantrell accidentally teaching them some English vocabulary not covered in their studies.
As for those of us who went to the Little Children of Jesus orphanage for disabled children, we arrived early and ready to rock. This week we've been arriving while a group of the more capable children are having "school." They wear uniforms, sit at desks, and have an assigned teacher, but we havent really seen a real lesson in progress. They mostly just play and color. And once again we serve as a perfect distraction, as we seem to rile the kids into fits of laughter, jumping on us and each other. They have been obsessed with these foam filled vinyl cubes, playing catch with them and of course pelting them at each other.
One of my best moments of the day was spending time with one of the orphans, David. David is 22, has Cerebral Palsy, and cannot communicate through words. He can barely move his arms or hands intentionally. We were playing with these foam blocks and he indicated that he wanted to play catch. When I threw the block, he caught it in his lap, and then flung it back at me. It was amazing! We continued to play, and when the block fell before he could throw it, he kicked it to me! This is just one of the many examples of a Haitian making do with what God has given them. I am blessed by having spent time with these kids.
Julie, Margi, and Lynn focused mostly on physical therapy in the morning, and Josh finished painting the chalkboard wall. We all helped with feeding at lunch and then engaged the kids in sports and a fun craft in the afternoon. The kids got to make foam crosses with glued on foam cut outs and loved it. They were so proud of their pieces of art, and we were so touched by the way they paraded around to show them off!
We concluded the day back at the Hope House with a wonderful traditional Haitian meal and great company. The devotion after dinner really touched me. In the aftermath of last year's earthquake, the president of the Lutheran Church in Haiti is quoted as saying "We will not be defined by rubble, but by restoration, for we are the people of the resurrection." It was awesome to hear Debbie, Roberta, and Bert's examples of how they've seen Haitians emerge from the rubble. It also gave us an opportunity to reflect on the way that we, back in the US, dwell in the rubble of our lives. We have such potential to join others who realize that true life is through God, not our fear, worry, or present difficult situation.
Anyway, the team is giving me a really tough time now for writing a novel, so I should go. Got to get back the team and start our ever-evolving card game of "knock." Ciao!!