So far,this week has been great. To think I still have over two weeks left is absolutely thrilling.
Along with the amazing opportunity to feed around 500 kids with the thrive team today; I got learn new words in creole, eat fresh mango, pineapple, guava, and avocado, paint butterflies on precious little girls faces, and hang out with friends (both Haitian and American). Also, I got to play soccer today, (although the 8 year old boys in my drill line told me I wasn’t good at it), I enjoyed them trying to teach me how to do the “touch touch pass” while they laughed at me as I struggled. And on top of all of that, I got to take hundreds of pictures of it all.
It is honestly the greatest feeling to be in Haiti. I don’t know if it is the reasons listed above, the bright sun, the breathtaking scenery, the curiosity of a new language, the feeling of community, the new relationships, or the new experiences; but I know that every time I have come to Haiti, something is vastly different about me. I feel emotions differently, I think differently, and in someways I may even act differently.
One reason I am different in Haiti than America; I sweat a lot more. It’s something you need to accept while here, sweat is inevitable. I don’t just mean a little perspiration, I’m talking about the kind of sweat that happens after 30+ minuets of intense exercise… But it happens all day. Hopefully I’ll eventually learn to find shade like the Haitians!
All gross reasons aside, I think my Haiti differences are a lot bigger than something I can explain. When I came to Haiti two years ago, I was a completely different person than I am today. I truly believe Haiti has been a big part of how I have become who I am now.
Tonight, Pastor Dan said that I am intentionally putting myself where God can use me with my desire to be in Haiti. Except I’m not even sure of how I’m being used, but I still have that feeling of greatness… Like I am in the exactly perfect place.
Though it’s funny, I see Haiti differently now from the other two years I have been here. The first time I was here, Haiti devastated me, I had culture shock. I couldn’t believe people lived the way Haitians do while I was just a days travel away living in luxury. The second time I came here, Haiti made me want to be a Haitian. I definitely fell in love with Haiti last summer. It was a unique kind of love that is possible to have for a country. Instead of being surprised people lived that way, I just wanted to be there to help them while they lived their lives. Now this time, I realize how much Haiti has influenced changes in my life through the past year. To my boyfriend, family, and closest friends, that last statement makes sense. It has been evident I have made life simplifying choices recently that are much different than how I used to be. Now, while I am back to that strong desire of wanting to be a Haitian, my eyes are opening to how much Haiti really had and will continue to influence my life.
To any of you parents of students on the thrive trip; I hope Haiti is influencing your kids like it influenced me. It is great to see them all work so hard and be willing to do what needs to be done.