Jill Cooper’s Testimonial (July Team)

IMG_2432My trip to Haiti was an experience I’ll never forget!  I wish more people had the opportunity to go on such a “journey”.   I want to thank Guiga and Dr. Vieira for giving me the opportunity to go.  I will be forever grateful to the both of them.  As we landed in Haiti and drove to the orphanage we were staying at, I was (and still am) amazed at the living conditions, the poverty and the amount of people in such a small area.  It’s hard to believe that standard of living still exists in 2011.  I’ve seen pictures and heard stories but the living conditions were worse than I ever imagined!  I feel fortunate to have been born and raised in America.  Our arrival at the orphanage was filled with smiles and hugs from all the children-most of them seeing familiar faces and some even chanting “Guiga, Guiga”.  It was so obvious how much they loved her and Dr. Vieira.  Amazingly, so much tragedy in their lives but so many smiles!  When I first heard stories about the children at the orphanage being abandoned by their families, I felt sorry for them but soon learned they had a better life than most of the other Haitian children who lived in tents and unsanitary conditions.   At least these children had food, clothing , shelter and lots of love.

Returning home, I realized I live in a wonderful place that I call home and I have a much better understanding of how fortunate I am.  Being in Haiti was very sad and shocking to me, but I know that the Haitians don’t know any other way of life and are happy.  I am very glad that I went to Haiti.  It’s truly been a life changing experience for me which I will never forget.  Thank you again Dr. Vieira and Guiga for letting me share with you and the entire team such an unforgettable journey in my life.  I admire and respect all the members of PFH who continue to go back time after time and help those less fortunate.

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