Going to Haiti was, definitely, not what I had expected. In the five days I was there, I got to enjoy a little bit of the country, its people, and its languages–it is amazing that such a small (and poor) country uses three languages. The Haitians seem to have such a big heart. I felt very included and welcomed.
While I was there, I got a chance to learn more about the orphanage, where we stayed, in Cabaret. Mike and Bonnie, an American couple, run the place, and their goal is not to have the children adopted, but rather to raise them as their own–as one big family. Originally, the idea was to have 24 children, but it seems that they cannot say no, so the orphanage has 47 children, plus a baby and a 25-year old handicapped girl. Although they usually don’t take anyone too young nor too old, they made an exception for baby Lionel and Martina. It was wonderful to be able to make a difference in other people’s lives and to allow them to make a difference in mine. It felt like our team was always bigger than expected, as we would meet, daily, people who were there on, mostly, religious missions, and for many of them this was not their first trip. They would either hang around to talk to the locals or they would assist us with our clinic. One of the moments I remember, as we were passing by a field, was seeing two little girls, wearing skirts and hats, all alone, hopping and skipping as if they were dancing to their own sound of laugher. It looked like it was a scene from a movie. They were so carefree.
My special thanks to both Guiga and Leo. It was and is beautiful and inspiring to see the care, love, devotion, and dedication that you two put towards this beautiful country and its people.