Fifty years ago today I was privileged by the Grace of God to be born. To say that I got to celebrate this milestone birthday in a 3rd world country helping others who probably won't even reach this young age is such an understatement.
Our first full day in Haiti started with our group breakfast and our team leader Rachel asking all of us during the day, to pick out one word for the day describing what we would experience delivering water to the Haitian people in Cite Soleil. The poorest city in Haiti. It was so hard to pick out just one word. As we were driving in the TapTap following the water truck I thought of my word of the day, it was the word "smell" The overpowering odor of burning garbage & sewage is not something I have ever smelled before. But then seeing the people along the road walking and smiling I didn't seem to notice the smell anymore. So I decided not to use that word.
As we approached our 1st stop I saw the people in the streets with their buckets and I got excited. But then things start to spiral out of control with near rioting which has never happened in the past. Why something happened like this...we don't really know , but it could be because it hasn't rained for a long time so people are desperate for water. We were told to pack it up and move out!! The Haitian people know what the rules are for getting water and by disrespecting the rules they don't get the water. I felt so bad when we pulled away from the chaos because the people still needed the water.
It is so true about what people told me about the children of Haiti. They love you unconditionally. They are joyful. They have big wide smiles. They touch you and talk to you. How rewarding it is to experience unconditional love as God planned for all of us to have.
1st John 3:16 "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers & sisters."
Maybe my word of the day should be rewarding???? Hmmm
Through out the day I kept hearing this Haitian word "Pot-em Pot-em" which means Hold me...Hold me. They all want to be held & touched. What a joy :) Unfortunately for every Haitian word I learned my 50 year old mind quickly forgot it. Hmmmm. Imagine that :)
Its the excitement of the moment that brings you to your knees.
A couple of boys who were about 10 came with us on the water truck and helped us. Hard working young boys. One of them was Pa-Trek. He was such a nice kid, very friendly and caring. I loved it when he kept calling me "mama". He sang Happy Birthday to me in Haitian which was an honor. But what really got me was at the end of the day when the other boy didn't feel good, Pa-Trek took care of him. It was so cool to watch two young boys holding hands taking care of each other. Pa-Trek took him home so he could continue to take care of him. Wow! Just watching this happen in front of my eyes shows what is really the true meaning of friendship, This is what it is all about!!
So, as I sit here writing this blog & listening to FanFan (Fa-Fa) singing & playing guitar on the patio what will I use for my word of the day??
I think its going to be the word "appreciation". I have appreciation for all of God's gifts & promises. Appreciation for my family & friendships & appreciation for what the Haitian people have given me on this special day.
PS - I had a fantastic "Haitian" birthday dinner with cake, ice cream & champagne.
Oh, by the way...we did go back to the 1st stop and delivered the water. Did they respect the line this time? Did they behave? For the most part..the answer is Yes!
Until next time
Glwa Pou Bondye!
Healing Haiti Team Member