This morning we started out with a delicious breakfast of boiled eggs, fresh fruit, and toasted buns. We prayed with the younger children before sending them off to school, with little Jonathan, Sandra and Karena leading us in prayer. There is something so sweet about seeing a 3 year old pray!! We headed over to the church building to see the children’s devotion before they began classes. The Haitians are so joyful when they sing; lots of clapping hands and smiling faces.

School Devotions

 

School

Of course it was a little harder for them to concentrate this morning as they had a bunch of visitors to watch. We got to work on the church; the Crackerjack Karen is looking beautiful!! When the kids came out for recess, we got to visit with them and play with them. They were so amazed to see blanc people, touching our faces and hair, giggling and holding our hands.

 

Inside a Haitian classroom (Preschool room)

 

Meeting the kids at recess

 

Meeting the kids at recess

 

Meeting the kids at recess

 

Meeting the kids at recess

When the bell rang for them to go back to class, we had to disappear quickly or they wouldn’t go back to class.

We went to the building on the school compound where they make lunch for all the students. All the rice is cooked over a charcoal fire every day no matter what the temperature!

Charcoal fires in school cafeteria

 

Rice plates on table for the student’s lunch

 

Kids with rice plates

Completed some more work on the church before lunch then went home to the compound to have some delicious Pumpkin & Chicken Soup. You wouldn’t think eating hot soup in 36 degree weather would be very appetizing but it was amazing! Marissa and I have found the joy of frozen towels, best thing ever!!! We have relief for a whole 3 minutes!

Marissa and I with frozen towels

This afternoon Karen took Laurie, Brian and I to the hospital. We got in as being introduced as Doctor Laurie, Doctor Brian, and Nurse Jocelyn. The conditions and standards are very different from Canadian hospitals. I was shocked by many of the things that they did and how the people staying there had to fight to survive. So many heart breaking things that I witnessed, I will remember forever. We have no idea from a Canadian view what it is like to go without proper medical care, clean and sterile supplies, or even a hospital bed. This experience is probably the part that will stick with me the most, it was defiantly the most heart breaking and it hit home hard as I work in the healthcare field and know what good healthcare looks like. To see those people in there and in the conditions they had to stay in was very sad and made me unbelievingly thankful for what I have back home. I felt guilty as I walked through the different wards of the hospital and thought back to working back home where I would complain about petty things such as the heat, or not having a meal served on time. There was so much to take in, there is no way you can describe to someone who has never witnessed something like that and know that they would have an accurate picture. In spite of the conditions here, I think everyone should witness some sort of poverty to remind them that they have a lot to be thankful for, more than we realize. Things we wouldn’t look at twice, these people cherish and long for. I will not come back from this trip unchanged; there isn’t any way not to be changed in some way.

After our visit at the hospital, we made a quick stop at the pharmacy to get antibiotics and coffee. Sitting in the air-conditioned truck was a nice change from the 39 degree weather!

We got back to the compound and everyone has been busy playing with kids, putting supplies away from the suitcases we brought, giving new clothes to the kids, and getting ready for the big party on Thursday. What a celebration it will be!

kids trying on new clothes

 

Unpacking suitcases

What a wonderful time we’re having down here in Haiti. Despite the incredibly hot weather, I am having an amazing time. I am so in love with these kids; I don’t know how I’m going to say good bye on Friday. God has opened my eyes so much while I have been down here. The immense poverty down here is devastating but there is so much potential. These people may only eat one meal a day or only have one set of decent clothes, but they are such hard workers. As soon as the sun comes up, they’re working out in the fields, and then working under the hot sun most of the day. Many don’t go home to their families until dark. They don’t sit around and complain about what they don’t have, they just keep living life as best as they can. The scenery is absolutely breath-taking. I love waking up and looking out at the mountains or picking fresh mangoes right off the trees. I’m completely in love with this place; I cannot wait to come back.

~Jocelyn