Another fascinating day at HATS! Many adventures and lasting memories! As we rose with the sun at 6am, we gathered to plan our day. At 730am, we had devotions with Karen, staff, and our team. This is a daily gathering where scripture, song, and respect help start everyone’s day with ‘positivity’. Both Creole and English are spoken. It ended with a display of respect for one another. Everyone simply hugged others and said ‘have a good day’. Simple yet there was no better way to start our day then with a hug and a smile. It makes us reflect on how we usually start our days; Tim’s, dealing with stress, negativity, etc…
|The two bloggers for Monday|
HATS uses food supplied by ‘Kids Against Hunger’, a non-profit US company, to feed over 280 school children daily. The team was tasked with organizing the storage area for the food to allow better access for Karen but also to gather enough for the remainder of the school year. Besides Lacee’s injured toe from Emma dropping a box, no other injuries were reported. Well, except Jerry overdosing on RAID and having to run to the shower to be decontaminated! Jerry was trying to protect himself from Chikungunya, a mosquito borne disease now in Haiti. Alycia in her helpful spirit suggested he simply ‘spray on lots of this Jerry’ and after doing so we realized it wasn’t OFF but RAID! It was hard work for all in 40C but all were sweaty and had biceps to kill after lifting all these boxes.
The team went to the school for recess. When the bell rang, we were met by a swarm of smiling faces, all dressed in their school uniforms, and so delighted to see us. They are all very affectionate and polite to others. Alycia was thrilled to sit and talk with her sponsored child. About 80% of students at the school have outside sponsorship and there are always opportunities for anyone to sponsor a student. The team was able to go into as few of the classrooms and meet the students. We were all welcomed but especially Lacee whom the boys took a liking too. All classes are taught by Haitian teachers. Education is a part of daily living at HATS and recognized as a vital part of improving their lives!
|Preschool students loving on Jenny|
|Students love the visitors|
|Alycia with her sponsored student Kimberly|
|Recess time at school|
It was obvious yesterday that the Haitian people love to sing. At the church service, their strong voices sang aloud, but after a while Karen started to distribute her instruments to the children. Simple instruments such as tambourines, homemade drums, and bongo drums. Today the 3 musketeers (Jerry, Todd, and Mr. Huxter…oops I mean Don) decided to craft a drum to add to the collection. Its amazing how a drum made of 4 pieces of lumber and clear packing tape can make 3 grown men laugh so much!
|The three stooges drum makers|
The team was blessed with many donated items to bring to HATS. Today the girls (and Don) unpacked the containers of toys, clothing, school supplies, etc. Karen was so thankful! A few of the kids were eager to try on new clothes and are eager for Karen to distribute everything in the upcoming weeks.
|Supplies donated by three churches in Lewisport area|
|Lots of beautiful donated things to bless the people in the area|
Meanwhile we (Jerry and Todd) were busy in the toilet, bath tub, sinks, and the generator room. Of course, Jerry was the Chief plumber and Todd the humble assistant. Karen often has things needing repair and visiting team members repair things. The most impressive repair was Jerry fixing the generator exhaust with tie wire and tin.
After our repairs, we went to check on the girls (and Don) to see how they were progressing only to find Don dressed in a pair of panties, red ones at that! Oh the fun he must have had helping the others! We (Jerry and Todd) did get roped into a picture also.
Karen took us all for a ‘tap tap ride’ to the local store. Haitians are often seen piled into the back of a pickup truck and as they travel they will simply tap the truck when they want the driver to stop. So we piled into the back of Karen’s truck but didn’t have the nerve to ‘tap’ because she was driving so fast we dare not let go! As we were leaving the store, a Haitian man had a newborn in his arms. Jenny especially was excited and obviously touched when she held her as we have not seen any babies before today during our visit.
|Heading for Luckner’s, TapTap style, for a cold drink|
Our afternoon ended with what we all enjoy the most… playing with the kids! Lots of laughs, giggles; lots of affection, caring, and love; the attributes that just seem to make HATS a wonderful place and has taught us all lots about others but also about ourselves. This was followed by a short evening devotion where the children sang.
|Evening devotions with solos from the children|
~Todd & Jerry