We are first timers here at HATS.  We have heard lots about the ministry here and have had an interest in visiting for some time now.  We are from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and we are glad we are here for the next several days!

We arrived into Port au Prince early Friday morning.  We enjoyed watching our surroundings on the drive to HATS (actually, Stephen saw much more than Melissa as she had a very hard time keeping her eyes open as she was quite exhausted from our ‘experience’ getting here – poor thing haha).

Airport to the mission site

Since getting here, we have spent a lot of time with the children and trying to get to remember all of their names (we are getting close!)  Yesterday, we arrived to the compound in time to go over to the school before they finished for the weekend and bring the kids over home.

Melissa and Stephen getting to know the children


Playing ‘Catch the Hat’ with Sandra

Karen showed us around the school a little bit and we peeked into a couple of class rooms.  Once the children saw us ‘blancs’ they were very excited and word spread quickly.  Before we knew it we had 20 or more trying to touch us or grab onto us – and we loved it!

Last night we went for a walk with the children along the canal outside of the compound.  It was fun just getting to walk with them all and start to see their different personalities.  Stephen got to carry Sonson (or we would have had a very slow walk as he was not cooperating) but he didn’t mind!  Melissa walked along with Magdala (another one of the youngest).

Almost ready to set off for a canal walk


Walk and playtime

Today we had a birthday party for Leica.

Beautiful birthday girl – Leica

We made a cake for her this morning and it was served along with bananas (fig) and pop (ji).  Here for a birthday party the birthday boy or girl sits at the front.  The youngest brings the gift to them and we watch as they open.  Everyone takes turns going forward to hug the birthday girl/boy and saying something encouraging to them if they so choose (which we thought was nice).  The birthday girl gets served first of course, and then the rest in order of age.

Birthday hugs from Sonson and Magdala.


May we see your gift please Leica

The birthday party included races between the children. The children love it.  The cutest race was between Magdala and Sonson.  Magdala kept turning around and running the wrong way.  We are glad to be here to celebrate one of the children’s birthdays with them!

Ready  Set  Go

We are very thankful to be able to be here and we are looking forward to the rest of our time here.  We are hoping to be able to even pick up some Creole while here.  The kids were teaching Melissa some of the names for animals during playtime this afternoon.

More blogs to come!

~Stephen and Melissa