Wednesday morning we had spaghetti for breakfast which is apparently a Haitian favorite. Rachel took us to the top of this mountain where the view was breathtaking. Down below we spotted a church service going on outside, the congregation was reaching their hands to the sky and yelling, “hallelujah! Hallelujah!” as massive clouds rolled past us because we were so high up. We then drove to Wynne Farm which is known for their organic produce. The strawberries were grown out of recycled Culligan water containers. Two men were sitting outside making wood crafts for sale. A black cat came up to me and asked for food. It was a very enjoyable little place. Afterwards we ate at the Baptist Mission restaurant and then bought some little bottles of fresh vanilla in their store to take back to the States.We drove up to another place where Rachel likes to go. Men with donkeys carrying goods passed us on the road. The back of Rachel’s truck was filled with leeks and green beans. As we drove off, two old men with canes stopped us to get a ride. They crawled in the back carefully as not to crush the produce.
On Thursday we visited the Haitian Museum to learn about the long struggle of the Haitians. Haiti is the first black country to gain independence and they are very proud of their legacy. The museum is also filled with really remarkable art as are the streets downtown, lined with paintings and metal workings. We finished the day with a meal at Rachel’s home and met the other 19 children she takes care of who live there so they have more room to play and run around. We played outside and the kids had a blast. Each child is so special and so sweet. Even the shy ones or the children you can see are grieving their loss, still contain a glimmer of hope in their little eyes. These babies are very precious and really are good kids.
Today Mary and I went with one of the Nannie’s to take a few children to the hospital. It was very crowded and noisy. In the waiting area of pediatrics, mothers held and breast fed their ill children. We waited a long time for all the children to be diagnosed and treated. One child had a rash while the others had a mild cough. Mary and I held the children as we waited, a cool tropical breeze came through the windows and relieved us from the heat. When all the children were cared for, we went back and fed, played and napped with the children at Rivers of Hope. We were very exhausted by the end of the day!
On our last night of reflection, many developments happened during this trip to help AGCI gain a better understanding of how to support Rivers of Hope Home and how to continually be setting up the children for success through better schedules and tying up any missing pieces of basic care. I have been to a couple of orphanages overseas but this was my first experience going to an AGCI children’s home and it was great to see such high standards of care that exists in comparison.
We fly out tomorrow but on our return to work next week, Havilah and I (Shanna) will be raising support for Haiti. Thank you for reading our blog and taking the time to help us spread the word about these wonderful kids who need homes!