Day two in Croix de Bouquet, Haiti...and I must correct a previous statement from the last blog: this guesthouse sometimes has hot water. And by sometimes, I mean just last night, and just for my shower apparently. But, let's be honest, after a normal day here, you really only ever want a cold one. So, conveniently enough.
We had pancakes this morning then took a tour of the compound, which can really only be best described as a fortress in my book. The Global Orphan Project took on this site last fall, but it was originally built with a church, hospital, orphanage, and hotel by other owners. The hotel has been completed and turned into the guest quarters and supply rooms. It. Is. So. Big. The dorms look much like those at Bighouse, in Cayes. They have school outside under a makeshift tent and trees, and their huge warehouse is right when you come into the complex. This is where the distribution took and continues to take place. Piles of rice, pasta, crackers, water, etc. A lot of it reminds me of scenes post Katrina in New Orleans. But then again, much of it is in a complete different realm.
We played with the kids most of the day, save for a two hour nap that I took to try and fight this sinus infection off:/ They remind me so much of our babies in Les Cayes. There is the token diva. The I-say-one-phrase-of-English-really-well, see-kid. The one who is determined to have your watch by the end of your stay, thank you very much. And the baby boy who is surely probably one of the funniest personalities on this earth, and you would confirm it if you spoke enough of the language. Soon enough.
We were able to check in on Stephanie's baby today, and that's when I met one of the other children and her baby. She is 13, and has a story that no 13 years should ever have to tell. Sold into slavery and raped, this child was kicked out when her pregnancy was discovered. The Global Orphan Project found her on the streets after the earthquake, and she gave birth to Kimberly just four weeks ago. She is so little, and so is her baby. They are both babies. And her story is as real as slavery and hunger and despair...and we are grateful for the Gospel. Who could survive anything without the hope of healing and an ultimate story...
We then loaded up in the back of a truck and went "right down the road" about 45 minutes to Julie's house, where 65 kids were waiting to sing for us. Julie and her crew lost much of their facilities when the quake hit, and they were left without a place to live. The Global Orphan Project took them in (along with hundreds of others) to be transitioned in and out once they helped them rebuild their site. It's good to see rebuilding.
We passed a flooded tent city on our way to and from and they said that many still lived there. How??
Tonight finished on a sweet, sweet note as the staff projected the movie Aragon in french on the wall of the courtyard for the OTV children to watch. I had four sweet souls fall asleep on my lap and drool huge puddles on my pants that are supposed to last me three days, and the stars were out, and you could have heard a pin drop, and I thanked God for His gift.
We wrapped everything up as a team on top of the roof where we talked about compassion, leadership, service, and risk, and how we are so rich--not just monetarily--but in freedom and choice, and how that richness' purpose is to enable us to make others rich in freedom and choice. It is a brilliant circle of relational interdependence when we realize that we must share the wealth of money, food, choice of education and freedom and clean water, joy, and deep humility and peace, etc with each other in order for the world to make sense.
I am 100% confident that mosquitos came with the plagues and that they serve no purpose. No one will convince me otherwise.
If you ever get to Haiti, do two things: 1. take part in song/dance time at an orphan village, 2. drink a coca cola made with sugar cane. At least.
PS...Connie and Benjie Winn...you deserve a jewel for letting me board the plane again. Your trust enables all that I do. Thank you:) Love, love yall. Tell Jason I'm proud of him for scoring the winning run!!!