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Erica’s Testimonial – January 12

Day 4 - 28I’ve been following PHF since it’s inception and know of it’s many accomplishments but it was absolutely delightful to witness PFH at work in Haiti. I just got back from my first trip, what an experience!  I don’t even know where to begin…I experienced so many emotions and it has been extremely hard to make sense of it all.  As a Nutritionist I witnessed things that I had only read in textbooks, as a Mom my heart broke with every sick child, with every orphaned child.  There were so many incredible moments during this trip and it would take a few pages to list them all but I will never forget a little girl whom I met that first afternoon in Haiti when Guiga and Robert took us to a neighboring village to  follow-up on a set of twins who were very malnourished.  As we arrived we were greeted by a mass of children, some were wearing only a shirt, a few were completely naked, playing in the dirt.  Then a little girl starts pulling on my lanyard and asks me my name.  Her name was Erica and she was so excited to find out we shared the same name, she held my hand the entire time we were there and pointing at me saying “Erica” and pointing at herself saying “Erica”.  She held my had so tight the entire time and when it was time for me to go she wouldn’t let go.  I explained to her I had to go and thanked her for keeping me company.  I got in the van and as the van was pulling away she ran alongside pointing at herself and at me yelling our name.  In a few seconds I lost sight of her and I have not been able to stop thinking about her since thenDay 4 - 30.  This moment marked the beginning of my journey in Haiti.  Our team saw hundreds of infants, children and adults  (over 1300) at the clinics, orphanages and  home visitations.  At the Cabaret Children’s Home, where we were staying, we were greeted by 55 smiling faces wanting to be held and to play.  It was a pleasure and a relief to see the children eating together, getting ready for school and playing in a safer environment. And soon, thanks to Maria and her daughter Elaney, they will have a playground, what an amazing gift!  During clinic, my favorite duty was providing vitamin A to children 6 months to 6 yrs and knowing that with every supplement we were providing we were decreasing the risk of mortality, blindness and illness.  Every time I would issue multivitamin/mineral supplements to children and adults I felt hope and relief.  Who knew that reading glasses could bring tears of joy to an 80 year old woman, she couldn’t believe she could read again, she gave me the biggest smile I had seen and told me she could read her bible now.  A student told me he was going to do so much better at school now that he could  read his books clearly.  I was inspired by my team mates and the people I met in Haiti, saddened by the pain and suffering I witnessed, so impressed with the work and growth of PHF, hopeful that we can make a difference and certain that I will be back to Haiti many, many times to continue supporting PFH.  My next trip to Haiti will be in 4 weeks and 4 days, but who’s counting 🙂  See you there!

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