Today our team split up for the morning. 10 of us went to the Home for Sick and Dying Children, the other 6 went to Dari's orphanage for special needs children.
This is Zack Villani (age 11) talking about our visit to the special needs orphanage (typed by my mom):
At first I was a little nervous because I have never been around kids with special needs before. But when I realized they are just kids who want to play and sing like any other kid, I felt a lot better.
My favorite part of this experience was seeing smiles on their faces even though they had disabilities. I liked to make them smile.
There was one girl who would scream very loud a lot in excitement, I think that was just how she communicated.
Our leader, Jeff, brought his guitar and played and sang, some songs in English and some in Creole. We also had a tambourine and a box drum that the kids were able to play a little bit. We blew bubbles for them as well.
My favorite boy was named Bradley, he was missing an eye. He sang a lot with me and was really funny. He kept coming over to me copying everything I was doing.
I was able to play the guitar for the kids, even though I played horribly compared to Jeff! #jeffisawesomeonguitar
I played "Oceans" and "Holy Spirit" for them. <insert other leader Michelle's comment here, because she gets to edit this😉: Not true...Zack does a great job at guitar!>
What I learned today is that God makes everyone different and special in their own way. He loves every person, everywhere, in every situation!
Now for Avery Thompson and Danielle Gjerde's perspective on the Home for Sick and Dying and Apparent Project:
Today half of our team went to the Home for Sick and Dying. This is a hospital where parents bring their kids when they are sick and can't afford food or other needs to keep them healthy. The parents can visit their children during designated times while they are in the hospital. If they get better, their parents can take them back home. What we were doing here was holding the sick kids and making them smile. A few of them had little accidents but the ladies who worked there directed us to a closet of clothes to change the children. When we walked in we were immediately overwhelmed with the amount of kids that were wanting to be held and loved. There were rows of cribs in each room with numbers and babies in them.There were kids there with malnourishment who were extremely skinny, kids with skin problems, and ones with other illnesses. Some of the kids were crying, some were just not happy, but once you picked them up they had the brightest smiles. We held them and just showed them that we loved them. The hard part was putting the kids back in their cribs to comfort another baby because they would start crying. It was very hard leaving the kids because you got so attached to their sweet smiles.
Next, the whole team went to the Apparent project where Haitians are employed to make mugs, jewelry, metal art, and other typed of wall hangings or art. There are 400+ people who are employed to work there. Most, if not all, are parents who would have had to give up their children if they did not have their jobs there. Most are working at the Apparent project, while the others make their work at home and bring it in to sell. This gives the Haitians an opportunity to provide for their families. They get the clay from 4 hours away and make it. They use this clay for the mugs and some of the beads. They paint then glaze them. The other beads are made with cardboard or paper then rolled and glued. Then strung together to make necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Overall, the day was a mixture of emotions. It was full of smiles and tears,and we will not forget this experience.