It really goes so fast: it seems as if we just arrived and were planning what we would do here at HATS-Haiti and, just like that, our last working day is done.
Just a week ago many of us had never met one another and were seeing Haiti for the first time. Seven days later, we’re a tight-knit team that has worked hard, shared a lot of laughs and tears, songs, prayers, and spent so much wonderful time together and with the children here. People often leave here feeling closer to God and longing to continue making a difference in the world around them. The children have given us so much that we wish to return.
We started the day finishing painting projects, cleaning up different work sites, organizing supplies and donations for the local hospital, and cleaning the boys’ bath house. It has been a fulfilling week and we can see the fruits of our labour in the visual changes that continue here.
Gerry and Bob went on a mission of a different kind with Karen: our first livestock pick-up and delivery in Haiti. It was an adventure that we like to call The Great Goat Chase. We went to Luckner’s house, where there were supposed to be six goats waiting for us. Instead, we wound up waiting. And waiting. Eventually, the young boy in charge of the goats arrived with four at his heels. Apparently two had made their escape. He tied up the other four, and ran back to look for the prodigal two. As it happened, he doesn’t tie a great knot. Off went two more goats, tied together as they sped off to another man’s property with Bob and Gerry pounding the earth in hot pursuit. The only way we got them back was because the running goats each tried to go in a different direction, knocking each other off balance. The young boy arrived back with one of the other goats. We’re still waiting for word on the sixth.
Bob and Linda gave two of the goats to each of their sponsored children’s families, and the other four will be gifts for the house mothers to take home for their families.
After another hot day of work, it was time to relax a bit with the children. The little girls started braiding some of the women’s hair and before long a makeshift salon had sprung up on the porch. Several of our team are now sporting corn row braids.
While all of this was going on, the boys decided it was time for a major soccer game. There was lots of yelling, cheering and screaming going on. We’re not sure if there were any goals. But we did notice that one goal-tending Cory was crying a lot in net for one side, while the other Cory’s lip seemed to quiver at times…..
Tonight we had a special event to honour our house mothers, and we’d like to say at this time that they have done an extraordinary job in the last year helping to raise these beautiful children and make a loving home for them here. They were honoured with a gift package, many hugs and kisses and something that every mother wishes for: a goat to call their own. In all seriousness, goats change lives here. They are a source of money, milk and food.
Tomorrow we’ll have church service and some time to relax and pack as we prepare for a very early departure Monday morning. Good night for now, dear family and friends.