Blog from another family member of HATS-Haiti – Beate Rufft

Hello everyone

Thank goodness for photos! I take so many of them now (not like the old days when one bought a roll of 36 and hopefully half would turn out)…hundreds and hundreds in just a short week at HATS. I often think to myself “Do I realllllly need this many???” Well, I’m so thankful that I do take as many as I do. This Sunday morning with coffee at hand, I was finally able to sort through the hundreds of photos I took.

Beate getting love from Ti Fi.

Tracy, my wonderful new friend, joined me this year. I couldn’t have asked for a better companion. She was an incredible helper and the kids took to her like bees to flowers. Every time I turned around she was busy doing something that needed to be done. I loved the way that on the first day, I caught her vacuuming Luc’s room. She just overheard Karen say “boy, Luc’s carpet needs a good vacuum,” and voila, Tracy was on it. Her spirit is gentle and kind, but boy oh boy, did she play a mean game of soccer against the kids. And I loved the way Tracy became master water balloon filler upper for when we ambushed the kids in a water fight. But most of all, I loved walking in on her when she was just “being” with the children, colouring, or playing hair dresser or feeding Luc. Thank you Tracy for your commitment to helping HATS, and for loving the children.

Tracy gettin’ it done.

Tracy planning the attack

Tracy always helping out

Tracy and her new friend Sandra

It was a super busy time at HATS. I usually come by myself or bring one or two team members. So how awesome was it to be reunited with the super amazing Heather Kearney AND to meet her super incredible son Mackenzie. We sadly only had a couple of days together, but the magic of our friendship picked up instantly. It was so normal, and natural to be there with Heather.  We are both teachers, and go through lots in a school year. We GET each other, and are able to share the good the bad and the ugly of our lives. It’s amazing to me how being with Karen and the kids, makes all the bad stuff go away. Thank you Heather for your friendship, and always the biggest thank you for your love of HATS.

Nothing like a ride in the back of a pickup


Getting to spend time with the infamous Jessie and Seth and their family was truly a highlight for me this time around. So often, I would stand back and just enjoy watching these two at work. They are incredible parents to not only to their own two beautiful children, but to all the children at HATS.  I loved watching Jessie teach the kids stories from the Bible.  She is someone I would LOVE to have the honour of working with at a school….wow….A+++++++ And Seth’s energy needs to be bottled and sold. He, Jim and Connie painted the new apartment in sweltering heat.  AND you should see Seth on the soccer field…whew…never in my times at HATS have I ever joined a soccer game (at 48 degrees Celsius why would I????), but Jessie and Seth got me going (mind you I had to give up and become the “water-boy” after half time).  Connie and Jim, you must be such proud parents. I truly enjoyed meeting you. Top shelf family for sure J

Jessie teaching and Karen translating. What a show

The little ones are entranced by the lesson

…so are the bigger kids

Beate the new water boy


winning team

I can write pages and pages of my experiences at HATS.  I tell people about Karen and the kids wherever I go. Recently, a young high school student I met this summer in South Africa told me that when she got back to the US, she would send HATS a donation.  And she did. Thank you Emilia. There are people from all corners of the earth who know about HATS…I’m so proud to be a part of this mission. And if you are reading this, thank you for listening, and caring and sharing….God Bless.