Don

Oh my! My turn again! My first blog day went very smoothly overall because Lacee and Heather did some photos and captions and Karen added my poem of “The Haitian Smile” from a few years ago. How can I wrap up this week? And I’m not really good at wrap/“rap”, me being from close to the era of silent movies and silent records/CDs and tapes.

How can I satisfactorily express the emotions for everybody for the week? Let alone a “closing out” for everyone!? Hey, everyone will want to try I suggest… and that can get today’’s blog done. As for me, I won’’t try to be as expressive and explanatory as Keith/Keif, but thanks to him we had a “to do” list ready and waiting from him which was a great help. With one exception we completed the list and went above and beyond- a great group! The exception, Keith, we did not get the termite boards replaced as the week went by because we did not have the supply of boards. However, with Eugene’’s help we went on a serious defensive assault against the pesky little termite nibblers with “Baygon” being our version of heavy artillery.

The activities from the week have been fairly closely reported and today is a very special day as well, “Mother’’s Day” in Haiti, the last Sunday in May. With the blog’s introductory paragraph above I’’d like to leave lots of room for others to perhaps comment on the Mother’’s day service and the meal that some of our funds helped to provide as well as their experiences over the past week.

Service on Mother’s Day

 

Newfoundland group singing in church

A personal mention: mid afternoon, Jenny, Todd JJ, Moise and I took large garbage bags to the school area where approximately 300 meals of rice, beans and chicken legs were served. Might I add that these meals were not cooked on a gas or electric stove but in large steel bowls over charcoal by a number of senior students. Karen and Luckner also provided great help and organization for this event. After the meal, the empty Styrofoam meal containers were neatly packed into large overflowing garbage containers. Each meals’ chicken leg was a special treat! As a tear starts to form (though I have observed this before) I noticed only four chicken leg bones not eaten or taken home amongst the dozens of empty containers left in the garbage.

~Don

Heather

Well where do I start?  What an amazing trip.  Not sure how I’m gonna be able to leave here tomorrow.  This has been an experience of a lifetime and I will never forget one minute of it.  The things that I have learned from the children, the team and most importantly Karen, I will cherish forever.  One can truly not understand until you have been here to see it for yourself.  All the children will be forever in my heart and I can’’t wait till next year to see them all again.  This is just the beginning for me, I will be here every year for as long as I can, even if Mamma says “NO, NO, NO”.  To end off our last night, we drove to Luckner’’s for a pop, in the rain.  The only two brave souls were myself and Lacee, glad garbage bags and all!!

~Heather

Lacee

Wow. How time flies. I can say with confidence that there has not been a day since leaving HATS last year I haven’’t thought about returning. Yet, here I am at the end of my second visit already. I have never felt so much joy than the joy I feel when we first drive through the compound doors and lay eyes on Karen and the beautiful children. I learn more and more each time I come. I have never been so inspired by anyone the way that Karen Huxter inspires me. My experience here in Haiti has been one of happiness, love, laughter and thankfulness. When I leave tomorrow, I will take a piece of Haiti in my heart and cherish it until I return.

Thank you to Karen, the children and the best team.

~Lacee

Double Trouble

Jenny

There are no words that would ever describe my experience at HATS…..I’m so thankful to Karen, to her workers, and to those precious children for everything they have taught me and for everything they have given my heart and my soul.

I have learned that with FAITH, with PRAYER, with HOPE and with LOVE, anything and everything is possible. Karen lives this every single day.  What she teaches her children and her country is absolutely from her heart and is truly amazing. It has been a busy week at HATS, with lots of fun and tears ….I’m going home with memories that will last a lifetime …..I’m going home with a heart filled with love …..and I’m going home knowing that I again will return to Haiti next year. Until then Karen, thanks for everything, thanks for all your hugs and all your prayers….  Thanks for YOU. I love you to pieces……xo

~Jenny

Emma and Shirley

Oh sugarsnaps!!! Gert and Liz here. We thought that our blogging days were finished until Don Huxter decided that it would be nice if everyone added a little piece of emotional blackmail to this evening’s blog. Truth be told. He just didn’’t want to do this alone!! To say we have not been touched by anything and everything here at HATS would be an understatement.  From the love of the children, the amazing food prepared by Germaine and Roselene, the blistering heat as we painted and dare I say, the sighting of a furry tarantula only added to the experience. For me, Gert, my fourth trip here leaves me learning much more about Karen Huxter and her love and devotion to a country she has called home for the last twenty years. I leave anxiously awaiting the time when I return to my Hatian family next year. Enough said!! I love you and am a better person because of you.

As for Liz, her first time has been a roller coaster of emotions. The faces of the children, the operation of the school, and the sharing of devotions are only the tip of the iceburg –  (which at this time she wishes she was sliding on). Will this be her only trip? We think not. Thanks Karen for being who you are and helping to make this world a better place. We love you up to the moon and back again around the world times ten!!! Are ya screeching yet maid?

~Emma and Shirley

Todd

“Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.” Karen has spent 20 plus years dedicating herself to helping the people of Haiti in so many ways while respecting their culture including language, way of life, and traditions. Karen is happy. The Huxter family have modeled ‘giving’ through their support of Karen. Don’’s love for his sister, her mission, the children, staff, etc is evident as his role as ambassador for HATS is filled with passion. Don, and I’’m sure his siblings, spouses, etc. are happy because they do what they can to help Karen.   This year we missed Jerry and Alycia and hope they join us next year. Our new team worked so well together as we did the best we could to help Karen and the children. We have laughed so hard this week and as a team we are very happy.  We have watched the eagerness of the children to help one another whether it was the older boys helping Ti Luc get ready for bed or Josie helping Magdala eat her snack. The smiles on the children’s’ faces show that they are very happy. Tonight as my 2nd visit to HATS comes to an end, I recognize the pivotal role HATS has had in my personal journey to wellness and happiness. Doing the most for others is rewarding for everyone, builds character, and helps many attain wellness. As I leave tomorrow, I’’ll no doubt have a tear in my eye, but I am very happy to have had this experience.  Thank you to Karen, the children, and our team for including me.

~Todd

Happiness