We have survived another day in Haiti! It been such a crazy day that I’m not sure we can share all our adventures.
This morning we had a surprise for breakfast. Our host wouldn’t tell us what we were eating until each of us tried it. Luckily it looked similar to oatmeal so we weren’t scared that there were strange meats involved. Once everyone had sampled, we were shocked to learn that it was blended spaghetti noodles! The taste was surprisingly amazing.
We headed down to the school and actually made it on time. After a super brief lesson, we headed out into the town of Cange to take photographs. We walked throughout the market where there were fresh fruits and vegetables as well as live chickens. The chickens were ready to be purchased and plucked for dinner. We wandered into Zanmi Lasante (which is the hospital sponsored by Partners in Health) which is a huge complex which features the hospital room and emergency room, a school, and a church. We wandered in the “gift shop” which featured art created by local artists. We found some really cool items to bring back to our family, friends, and our own homes.
We showed the children their pictures that they took the previous day using a donated laptop and a projector at the school. They were excited to see their photographs and were proud of their work. It made my heart happy to see their joy!
Everyone was having so much that we didn’t make it back to the school on time. We had the opportunity to really converse with the Haitian students we’re working with because they opened up to us when we were away from the school. I’m not sure if it was the environment change or the fact that they’re getting more comfortable with us but it’s nice to use more than hand gestures. Their pictures are improving greatly and some of the kids have made huge leaps and bounds in terms of their skills.
We came back and were served lunch again. We’re all afraid to not eat something of our own because they kitchen workers might take our words to heart and not cook for us. We’ve all tried to be really polite and not offend the Haitians by turning down food. Most of us have been eating two lunches every day.
After lunch, we enjoyed our siesta and prepared ourselves to work with the afternoon group.
As we walked down to the school, we commented on the clouds and how tricky they were. We have been expecting rain for days and it has never come. Today, the sky looked overcast again but we weren’t hopeful for rain. Right as we got ready to start the lesson, the sky opened up and rain began to fall. Thinking it was a short rain shower, three of us ran to experience the rain. One of the little boys joined us and we jumped and skipped, much to the delight of the children. Some of the other children who have not been a part of the program came to play in the rain. They taught us some really fun kids games that they play. One of the involved freezing when the song ended and not being the first to move.
It rained like I’ve only seen before during a hurricane. The rain came down in sheets sideways. It was so heavy at times that we couldn’t hear the photography lesson. Instead, we decided to sing. They started with ‘Jesus Loves Me’ which we taught the kids in English and Sign Language. Then we moved onto “How Great Thou Art.” We sang it in English and then the Haitians sang it in French. Finally, we sang it in our own languages simultaneously. It was one of the most powerful moments of the entire trip.
Some of us (Paul) took advantage of the rain to take their first shower of the trip. Others enjoyed the wonderful clean water to take what is arguably the best shower of the trip. It’s been raining off and on all night which we hope will continue to aid our sleep.
Now we’re all dancing in one of the bedrooms. They’ve already Dougied and Wobbled. Now they’re doing the Cupid Shuffle which is hilarious! The other room is learning to walk with bowls on their heads like many of the Haitian women.