Sunday here at HATS…starts out much different than other mornings and a lot like the ones in North America. Sleep-in late (well 6:15 anyways), followed by a good cup of coffee, pancake and fresh fruit breakfast, leisurely conversation then getting ready for the 9:30 church service. The children started showing up around 8:30 and they all looked amazing. Dress shoes and shirts, slacks, ties, dresses, frilly socks adorned happy and smiling faces. These girls and boys clearly like to get spruced up and spend time with the Lord which is really encouraging for their future.
We took a quick walk over to the church loaded down with drums, tambourines and snacks where we were met by many more children and some adults from the neighborhood. Again, everyone was dressed in their Sunday best and looked really excited about worshiping God. The service itself was over 2 hours of praiseful singing accompanied by drum banging and tambourine smacking. All this wrapped around open prayers, a bible based sermon and even included a little half-time water break. On the way out all the little ones got treats of cookies, Haitian style Cheetoes and a cold drink so of course the happiness just kept on flowing.
Next was the big Canada vs Haiti soccer match which would have been a lot better for both players and spectators if it was held in a nice, air conditioned stadium. However it’s soccer and this is Haiti so everyone just dealt with the balmy conditions. Although the Canadians had size, equipment and experience on their side they were no match for the younger and more agile Haitians and the 2 to 2 halftime score ended in a 5 to 2 win for Team Haiti. It was really all about good friendly competition but we’re sure that Team Haiti is going to enjoy the bragging rights they get until the rematch. It’s OK because they earned it.
After a little cooling off time we all sat down for a great spaghetti lunch (yeah, the Italians couldn’t go a week without a little pasta and tomatoes) followed by a couple hours of chill and refresh time. Again, this was a lot like a Sunday in North America minus the couch, TV and remote control. Of course and since this is Haiti, we had another soccer match between the younger boys and girls that ended in a 4 to 2 score for the future men of Haiti. Closing out the day was a great group picture that included all the visitors and everyone from HATS followed by chicken legs, cole slaw and beans and rice for dinner.
This is our last day here and though we’re all anxious about getting home and seeing our loved ones, we’ve built relationships here which we’ll cherish for years to come. This place is awesome, these kids are amazing and Karen Huxter is an angel taking care of God’s children. We look forward to staying in touch with HATS and seeing the progress they make in helping Haiti to a better tomorrow.