Thursday, July 29, 2010
Haiti looks like someone bombed all its buildings. It looks like a war zone. There are tent cities and shacks upon shacks where people live. We would get in trouble for letting our dogs live in those conditions here. But the orphanage we were at was like an oasis in a desert. I didn't expect such loved and loving children. I didn't expect such well cared for kids. But that's what I found.
We all fell in love with certain orphans, each of us had a different favorite. For me, it was Wicherson. But that's the missionary's fault. She went to get him on Wednesday to bring him to live at the orphanage and asked some of us to go along. I wasn't supposed to go, was dressed to scrape paint off walls, but at the last minute I was jumping in the back of a pickup along with five of the teens. (The girls chant about riding in the back of an open pickup was, "Do it while it's legal!") We drove to the shanty where Wicherson lived with 8 other family members. Then we took him, his grandmother, aunt and cousin to meet with the mayor. While they were in their meeting, Michelle, the missionary, asked me if I would hold Wicherson. He's two and just a bundle of cuddle. I held him for probably two hours while the meeting took place, then held him all the way back to the orphanage. He fell asleep in my arms on the way. Back at the orphanage we found some new clothes, a pair of shoes for him and took him to the nannies. When I saw him next, he was running, laughing and being fed a snack of saltines by the older girl orphans. Michelle said this was a case where we literally saved a life. So as the saying goes, "I left a piece of my heart in Haiti," and a little two-year old boy owns it. When I get the picture of me holding Wicherson, I'll post it.