Our second full day in Haiti was marked by highs and lows. It was a beautiful day filled with doing crafts with the children at the Blanchard School, a trip up the mountains to Wings of Hope, and a quick stop at the St. Joseph’s Home; yet throughout the day we all struggled at times, questioning our roles and the best way in which to interact with the Haitian people.
After squeezing into our van this morning, we arrived at the Blanchard School to find many more children than we had expected ready and waiting for us. We proceeded to spend a few hours of organized chaos, helping to assemble kites for the older children and making scratch ornaments with the younger children. There was singing, laughter, and community, which was a great start to the day.
We then packed ourselves back into the van and headed out of Blanchard up Delmas to spend a few hours at Wings of Hope. Our ascent to Fermathe provided a brief respite from the heat and noise of the bustling city of Port-au-Prince. Much to our surprise, we arrived at Wings in the midst of a Carnival celebration. Stevie greeted us from the balcony with shouts of “Alleluia” and we entered into a bit of sensory overload and joined the dance party. We then had a quick lunch of chicken salad sandwiches and listened to Rene as she narrated the story of Wings and how she came to join the St. Joseph’s Family.
We left Wings and headed down the mountain to St. Joseph’s. We entered through their new gate into their temporary home. The home was similar to the one destroyed in the earthquake in that it was decorated with beautiful Haitian art and foliage, yet a step out the back door revealed the ruins of the home that used to be. The family is moving forward, full of excitement for the new buildings that will be erected from the rubble, yet it was difficult for those who had previously visited the home to see a hole in the ground where there was once a magnificent home.