Wow, how could I possibly express to you what it was like to go to Haiti? I’ve been to about 38 countries in my life and this was the most shocking trip of my life. Rita and I went there knowing that it would be a heart-wrenching experience, however, what touched me the most was the depth of their despair. It felt like a hope-less society. There are no jobs, no industry and no way to take care of one’s family in Haiti.
We started off at the His Home For Children orphanage. We met the children, lined them up and let them choose a pair of shoes. Everyone can imagine how that might feel, but to be there and see their faces, well, that is something that I simply don’t have the words to express. As close as I can come, might be to tell you about the hugs and kisses and warmth we felt from these children. It wasn’t that they “got” something. I believe it was that they knew we came there for them. Whether it be shoes or chocolate, I feel like they knew we wanted to do something/anything to bring them comfort in their lives. Maybe I’m wrong, but this was a just a feeling I had.
The next day we went to two tent cities in Port Au Prince. JP HRO was one of them and is the largest tent city downtown with over 53,000 people and half of them are children. This camp is ran by Sean Penn and his team and was well organized considering the dispare. The team at the camp spent a lot of time showing us how they cared for so many people. I wanted to stay but Rita won’t let me. We will be returning to this camp in the near future to bring them shoes.
We also had the pleasure of meeting one of the sweetest couples in the world Lucien and Gina Duncan that run the Fondation Enfant Jesus orphanage. We spend time at both of the orphanages and schools they run and we severed a feast of kings at there home. They have one of the best facilities in all of Haiti. The children that are there are very well provided for.
The last day we toured a few more orphanages – one of which we found because we were lost! And real highlight was visiting a little church in a mountainous region known as Kensscoff. We gave shoes to the church children so that they might have something nice to wear on Sundays. The kids were so sweet. They are singing to us and everything. Rita got mad because I was giving away all of our Kashi bars…lol.
It’s funny; I thought I’d feel as if I’d done something to better the world, when in fact, I believe that this is merely the tip of the iceberg. With two small events we were able to bring hundreds of shoes to Haiti. Can you imagine what we could do with more time, more events and more people helping?
Looking forward to the next trip.