Before today even began, the lovely Rosie scared Liv by knocking on the door in the night and crouching in a bear crawl position. It was a great time 🙂
Today began at 8:00AM, breakfast which consisted of some bread, peanut butter, bananas and pineapple. After breakfast we had the opportunity to walk through downtown in the Mole where we ran into quite a few polite locals, one woman in particular who asked us to pray for her health and children.
Then it was off to Karenage where we met some amazing school children who Caitlyn and Sara led in an epic dance class. We also met some locals who Emma had created really close relationships with over time. Side note – we got to meet her beautiful godbabe and he is precious. Extra shoutout to Kenson and Olmy for being bomb translators.
After Karenage, we walked back along the beach to campus where we were treated to lunch and left for Jody’s living room for a talk about some of the hard-to-grasp cultural aspects of Haiti. We were all hit really hard with the information we were given and have gained great amounts of knowledge from that experience.
Next, we headed up to the dance studio where Tia Santi led the orphanage dance camp for the little kiddos. They were FULL of energy and loved every minute of Tia’s choreography. Next, we did the Dames Danse. This is the group of older women in the community that were invited to come together and share the joy of dance.
We played multiple dance games (including “Americk Says,” a conga line, and a soul train). Shoutout to Americk for translating. During dinner, Liv did a devotional for the group about pushing against things that stop us from speaking out about injustice. Lastly, we met up with the Our Generation competition winners to learn audition material for tomorrow’s audition. They are SO GOOD. Today was a PACKED day.
I loved that we were able to experience Haiti outside of the campus on our walk to Karenage this morning. We were able to meet many of the locals and see how they lived their lives in this beautiful country. One of the most memorable moments of our walk was when we were just about to leave downtown and a local asked us to pray with her. She asked for prayers for her children and their health as well as for her own. She said that they were experiencing headaches constantly and it may be from dehydration because if they drink the water without having food/electrolytes in them, they end up throwing up the water. So if you could keep her and her family, as well as many others, in your prayers that would be amazing.
I was also able to teach the school kids at Karenage with Sara during their recess time. This was a challenge for me due to the language barrier, but the whole class just showed even more that dance can connect people as a universal language. Another event from today that I absolutely loved was learning the audition combo with some of the Our Generation dancers. They are all so so so talented, and they move so naturally. Dancing with all of them reminded me why I love to dance.
I cannot wait to see what the rest of the week holds for all of us in Haiti and to make more memories with all of these amazing people!
P.S. Hey there fam hope y’all are doing well J also thanks for the comment mom hope to see more ❤
There were two things that stood out to me today above all else. The first was dancing with the school children in Karenage. How could I not be enamored by squealing little ones dancing around and using my body as a jungle gym? I met one little boy named Letony who made his way right to the center of my heart. Maybe helped me realize one of my callings. Still discerning. I’ll get back to you on that.
The second thing that got to me today was the conversation we all had with Jody about Haiti. We were introduced to some pretty hard topics of sexual assault and voodoo, and were told many stories about the struggles the Castillo family has triumphed through with the help of God. I was inspired, but fragile thereafter.
I talked to the girls later about how frustrated I am that our time, and therefore impact here is so short-lived. I was reassured upon later reflection that I am supposed to be here, and that this may be something I am made to speak out about—sexual injustice that is. Today left me feeling emptied, filled, and gifted with new passion for all that is to come. I am so thankful for this place, these people, and God among us. Mesi Anpil for all the support you each have been sending us. We feel God’s presence here and hope to spread that joy to the people we meet.
The girls (and Rob) loved hearing from you all! Please feel free to leave comments! We will read them at dinner.