In the Summer of 2010 I was one of many lucky people who had the opportunity to take a short trip to Haiti. I fell almost instantly in love and just can't keep myself away. I've spent about 11 months in Haiti since the first time I went two and a half years ago and my time there isn't over. I'm exploring my options on where to take my life from here but it WILL include Haiti in one form or another. This is where I record stories and thoughts about my experiences.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Amy and I are now in Leogane at the orphanage. We spent our first few days at Sue's in Christionville. I LOVED seeing those kids. They're all getting so big and they've all matured a lot. Jean is talking so much and speaking a lot of English. Jennifer's whole attitude has changed, she's so mature now!! I can tell that Peter and Claudeson are loving all the open space to run around and play in. All of the kids are. Their behavior has changed so drastically. There's far fewer fights and fits. Sue has almost a completely new staff and I really like them all. I think that helps a lot too. They are a lot more caring and kind.

The boys are getting HUGE. The woman who takes care of them now is named Nadine and I really really like her. She's so sweet with them and they love her a lot. They aren't walking yet and probably won't walk while I'm here. But they run around the "garden" (the place where all the kids play) holding onto these boxes and they say "keep keep!" like a little truck. It's great. I can't believe how much they've changed. I was worried that they wouldn't remember me but they definitely did. They cried when I put them down and always wanted me to hold them above any one else. It makes me happy and sad all at the same time. I really love those boys.

Amy and I have been in Leogane with the girls since Friday. They seem to be doing really well. Our friend Peggy from Samaritans purse (her husband Judd is rebuilding an orphanage close by called the Lamb Center) gave us a big box of toothbrushes to give the kids when we went to visit the other day. She fed us lunch in her air conditioned house!! Anyway, every morning I've seen the kids outside brushing their teeth. At night they all gather in their house to sing and pray with a pastor that's staying there. Then they're all ushered into their beds to fall asleep. Most other times that Amy and I have been here all the kids stay up way late and no one ever made them sleep. We've also noticed that they all sit inside to eat together and pray before they eat.

There is a new outdoor kitchen and dining area that is being built on the foundation of their old temproary house. It has a bread oven and a sink! It's not finished yet but it looks like it's going to be really nice. The dining area will have tables so all the girls can sit outside together. Anything that adds more organization to their lives makes me real excited.

Yesterday some women (one of them used to be the main caretaker of the kids) came to do a little program with the kids. When Amy and I got back from church in Grand Goave we saw all the kids sitting in their new dining area singing with pastor Kelly while these ladies were dishing up plates of rice for the kids. All the boys were there too. After the kids prayed and ate they all went into the field and the ladies played games and sang with them. It was a great party. Only and hour or two after the party the girls got their normal dinner so ALL of them were FULL!! That was the first time that Amy and I had ever heard any of the girls say that they were full.

Amy and I brought four big jars of coconut oil with us. We gave one to Sue and are giving three to the girls. Yesterday I gave all the little girls a bath and sent them over to Amy who put coconut oil all over them. Their skin looked SO good! We both had so much fun spending individual time with each of the girls and we could tell they really loved being taken care of and looking so pretty. We're going to do it again today and then take their individual photos like we always do every trip. We're also going to bring some over to the boys when we take their pictures so their skin looks nice and pretty for their pictures.

I love all these kids so much and I am so happy to be here with them. My heart is full.

Amy and I had a great experience yesterday. We took taptaps with our friends Junior and his brother Mackenson to Grand Guave in search of a church we heard of in English. We didn't find it but we found this place called Mission of Hope and went to church there. It was in Creole but we met some cool people so it was good. On our way back the taptap stopped in town and we had to walk by the place we used to buy rice and beans. I wrote about the woman Migluise who worked there. She died from heart problems a while ago and Amy and I hadn't been back to the stand where she worked. We think about her a lot and miss her. However, yesterday when we walked by her old stand her daughters were there making food again!! We sat and ate and chatted with them about their mom and life and everything. I was so happy.

Soon Amy and I are going to go to our friend Kinsey's house who died about a month ago. We made his family a photo album with all the pictures we had of him. People don't really have too many photos of themselves and I think it will be really cool to be able to give his mother a whole album of pictures of him.

We're off to visit other friends in the area today and then back to hang out with the girls again.

I love Haiti so much!

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