Monday, July 16, 2012

Haiti Day 3 (July 4)

 Today we took a trip to one of the mission's orphanages in Saline Mayette.  On the map, it looks like the orphanage is about 20-30 miles away from the mission's main campus in St. Louis du Nord.  Getting anywhere in Haiti is not easy because there are not many roads.  And the roads that they do have are ROUGH!  I was a bit nervous about this trip, as I easily get motion sickness.  I wasn't sure I would be able to handle the ride.  It was a three hour drive.

This pickup truck was our tap tap for the trip.  All ten of us piled into the back for the whole three hour ride.
Our seats were a 2 x 6 inch board nailed around the back edge.  That was all.  Most of the tap taps we had seen the mission use had a bench like seat with a rail that went behind your back as you you wouldn't FALL OUT of the truck on the crazy roads.  But not this one...there was not much at all to hold onto except for the narrow board we were sitting on.

We had to hold on for our lives, and I mean that very literally! We traveled into a very rural area, bouncing over massive bumps and holes, going up and down hills, driving through rivers, and praying that no one would fall out!  I managed the trip okay, thanks to the help of a couple of Dramamine (the less drowsy kind...if I would have fallen asleep, I would have fallen out!)  After about three hours, we safely arrived at the orphanage.  We stayed at the orphanage for about two hours, just about long enough for my queasy stomach to begin to settle.  Then we got back into the pickup and headed back to St. Louis for another three was a long, long day of travel!  And we all most definitely had blisters and "saddle sores" on our behinds after sitting for six hours bouncing on that narrow board!

The orphanage at Mayette houses around 120 kids, I believe.  The orphanage itself was nothing fancy.  They have a room where they eat, a few rooms to sleep and a room for school.  No electricity or running water.  It was very simple, but it worked to provide these kids with what they need.

We spent most of our short time there playing with the kids.  We spent a lot of our time on this trip playing with kids.  Sometimes I felt like we weren't of much aid to the mission or the people of Haiti.  But then I thought about these kids, both at the orphanage and the Miriam Center.  They have workers who teach them and feed them and provide for their basic needs.  But the mission does not have enough staff to play with the kids and do fun things with them and give them lots of hugs and cuddles.  If Americans did not travel to NWHCM on mission trips, these kids would not receive all of this extra love and attention.  And I think it is important for all kids everywhere to receive love and attention!

The kids at the orphanage were so sweet (quite a bit calmer than the kids on the streets outside the mission!).  They each immediately found an American and become your buddy for the rest of the day, never leaving your side, holding your hand, giving you hugs, and wanting to be held (no matter how big they were!).  My buddy for the day with this sweet, sweet little girl.  Sadly, I don't know her name.  She tried to tell me a couple of times, but she was so quiet and I just could not understand her.  She was such a lady, and every time I picked her up and held her on my lap, she always made sure her dress was pulled down and covering her bottom.
Jody's mom made a bunch of dresses for the girls at the orphanage.  We passed out the dresses and took a picture with all of them in their brand new dresses.  So cute!!!

It is so much fun for these kids to see photos of themselves.  At this orphanage, I never saw a mirror anywhere.  I wonder how often these kids even have a chance to look at themselves??   I guess whenever Americans come to visit, which is quite frequently in the summer.  One little girl kept trying to swipe a finger across my camera screen to see the next picture.  I think she has had some experience with someone's iphone!  Here are just a few of the many photos we took of the kids.

We also brought the bubble machine.  That bubble machine was a great item to pack, as it seemed to be a hit wherever we went.
When we got back from the oprhanage, we had dinner and devos.  After that, we had a movie night with the kids from the Miriam Center.  We bought popcorn for those that could eat it.  They set up a projector in the courtyard, and we watched Lady and the Tramp.

I snagged up this litle cutie to sit on my lap during the movie.
  Her name is Anastasia.  She is 18 months old, and I think she is just the cutest thing.  So sweet and smart!   Her cleft palate is the only reason that she is currently at the Miriam Center.  She is supposed to have surgery for the cleft palate in November, and then seh will move into one of the orphanages.  I loved snuggling with her during the movie, even after I realized that her diaper was soaking wet and leaking all over both of us!  =)


Post a Comment