Wednesday, July 13, 2011
This is my blog from yesterday. For more of my 21 days in Haiti experiences click: http://twenty-onedaysinhaiti.blogspot.com/
It is such a blessing that I am able to be in Haiti for 3 weeks. I am so grateful for this opportunity to be able to spend this significant time in a place that I love so much. I have been so fortunate to be able to co-lead one week, to be down with family the following week, and now to have my mom (and several other family members) down here in Haiti.
It was such a wonderful day being able to watch my mom experience Haiti for the first time. She had so much energy and courage today. She was one of the first team members to volunteer riding on the water truck. As soon as we arrived at Soleil 17, I looked around and saw my mom already mobbed with kids. She was awesome with them too! All day she was playing jump rope, holding children, playing games, and helping with the water truck. I think she sees why I love this place so much...and I am hoping she loves it just as much!
It was also such a blessing today to be able to give my Zanmi (friend) in City Soleil his French to English translation book my mom was able to pick up in Minnesota. My little buddy is named Jameson. He is 13 years old and in 6th grade... Inside the book I wrote a little message and stuck a few pictures in the front cover. The pictures were of him and me & him from earlier this month. It was so wonderful that my mom was able to bring these things down for me. When we reached Cite Soleil 17, I gave the book to our Haitian water truck driver, Enel. He found my friend right away and gave him the book. I didnt want to directly give the book to my friend because it could cause a riot and scene amongst the people. I was able to walk by during the presentation of the book, and it was such a blessing to be able to witness the pure joy and excitement that came across his face. It was such a gift for me to be able to give him something so simple-- a book that only costed $5 at Half Price-- and to see that it meant the world to him. He came over and hugged me with a huge grin on his face. Pure Joy.
During the first water stop, I had the pleasure of pouring water into everyone's buckets standing in line. Jameson came with me to help me with the task I was assigned by the water truck drivers. I was honored to have such a job because I have seen so many filth and smelly buckets over the past few water truck stops. It is so important that those buckets are as clean as they can be in order to assure the clean water we provide stays safe to drink after reaching the buckets. Our stop was busy with activities as always, and when it was time to leave, Jameson told me he wanted to come with me. I hate goodbyes. I told him to be good and Ke Bondye Beni' ou (God Bless you). I hopped in the Taptap, and waved goodbye to him as we began to pull away. That was such an awful feeling.
Surprisingly, towards the end of our second stop (Soleil 19)... Jameson met up with us! I was so excited to see him again! When we packed up to leave, I hopped in the water truck to head back to the fill station. Inside the truck was my little buddy! He came with us! When we got to the water truck station, I gave Jameson a peanut butter sandwich and a water. He hung out with us for a bit along with some of the other young guys at the water truck station. It is such a precious thing here and something you wouldn't expect, but everyone shares their food. My buddy ripped his sandwich in half and gave it to his friend. He also shared his bottle of water. They all look out for each other. Something to be learned from this...
At our next stop, I met a friend of Jameson and teased them that they were "Boyfriend" and "girlfriend." I hung out with his "girlfriend" for the majority of the stop; she was cute! When it was time to leave again, Jameson hopped in the Taptap with the rest of the Haitian Staff we were dropping off on our way back to Puerto Prince. He got out with another young man right before we left cite Soleil. It was bitter-sweet to see him run off. My heart ached a little knowing he had to go back to such conditions, but my soul and spirit knew he would be okay-- God will protect him! I will keep him in my prayers and pray that I will be able to see him again soon!
Ke Bondye Beni' ou,