What made our stay in Haiti so memorable, was mainly the constant interaction with the children. During the more complicated construction phases, their “joie de vivre” was a breath of fresh air and an ongoing reminder of the reasons why this project was undertaken.
From the moment we got to the school, we were welcomed with open arms. During the morning flag ceremony, the director introduced the team and we then went from class to class to greet everyone.
A little shy at first, the curiosity of the kids began to take over rather fast and extremely funny and interesting interactions resulted. Although the language barrier was present, it was not very difficult to communicate through sports, good humor and laughter.
From then on, we spent most of our time in company of the pupils. In the mornings, on the road to school, the pick-up truck we were using, would take in some of the children, who were a bit late, in order for them to avoid walking the long distance. After school, the children would mostly also stay on for a few hours. As mentioned in last week’s post, we spent a lot of time playing a variety of sports together. However, we were also able to count on their help to finalize the construction work. At every opportunity, during breaks, as well as before and after class, the children would rush to the construction site, grab whatever utensils we had and start helping out.
Their help ended up being critical to the successful termination of the project. On the last day, the water pump stopped functioning, greatly delaying the arrival of water needed for the cement. To counter this, there were constantly around 20 children running back and forth with buckets to the river and the well. On the last night, some even ended up staying until 10 PM, bringing along their parents.
It was extremely refreshing to get to know all these different personalities. They all have big dreams, and we are extremely grateful to have been able to spend time with them and get to know their opinions, their ways of thinking and their positivity.