On the way home from the orphanage in the tap tap this afternoon I had to ask if today was Tuesday or Wednesday. Cause seriously. I had no idea. None. I did find out that today is in fact Tuesday, however I'd have to really think hard to figure out if it's Haiti day 3 or Haiti day 4 and so we'll just go with Tuesday.
We got up early this morning. Early. As in 5:00. A. M. people. AM. Some of you may be thinking that 5:00 isn't really that early but for this girl it is. I'd been up for an hour and 23 minutes when my normal weekday alarm went off. Generally, when that goes off I hit snooze. Then I hit snooze again. And finally at somewhere between 7 and 7:30 I get up. So see, 5:00 is early.
We planned to leave at 6:00 but since "this is Haiti" (aka TIH) we kind of did the hurry up and wait thing until about 7:30 when we finally left. About an hour later we pulled into the Thomazeau orphanage for the second day in a row. Little faces started peeking out of the door of their classrooms and before long we had a whole crew of kiddos jumping into our arms.
It's amazing how quickly the bonding has happened. While all the children crave and need the attention and love from all of us, it's already obvious that some of the kids have bonded with certain adults that are here. I love that! However, in the back of my mind I can't help but think about what Friday will be like when we have to leave for good. I pray that I will be able to come back and love on these kids again someday. I know it has to be so hard for them to bond with people and never see or hear from them again. I've had several children ask where Kelly was. Where is Tiffany? Where is so-and-so. Do I know them? In the end they come up with "different friend?". That seems to put them at ease. That perhaps I DO know them, but they were just unable to come at this time.
There are two different groups of children at the orphanage. One is a group that goes to school there and lives there and are true orphans. We call them the green kids. Because they wear green shirts. Aren't we creative?! Then there are the red kids (betcha can't guess what color they wear) who are local children who may have parents, may live with relatives or neighbors or older siblings but they have someone who can look after them to some extent. They are Compassion kids and so they have the funds to come to school at the orphanage. When all the children are there they number about 50 and things can get a little chaotic. They leave around noon or 1:00 and then it's a smaller group of about 20 children that we hang out with.
Today we made salvation bracelets with the large group and then had the opportunity to help serve them a hot meal. They don't normally get a hot meal every day. Or every week for that matter. This week we are hoping to do it every day. After lunch we played some and then handed out a sucker and small toy to each child. We learned yesterday that when we hand things out the kids will often come back and act like they didn't get one yet and then we see that their pockets are full of stuff. Hoarders could get some serious footage here.
So we came up with this amazing plan to put a little small x with a marker on their hands after we gave them something.
Um...not the best plan. They totally figured us out. It wasn't long before I started seeing familiar faces and small smudges of red. Little stinkers were wiping off their x's! They are some SMART little kiddos! Soon the red kids left and we had more playing, throwing balls around, posing for pictures, a little bit of "beauty salon" and then we took the green kids into a room (I use that term VERY loosely) to color.
I would have loved to stick around much longer but we had some sick sick adult men who needed to get home. The guys in our group have been just amazing. Yesterday they managed to mix and pour one concrete slab. Today they did another slab and a roof. Those are the MAIN projects they are working on but they are doing so much more as well. The Haiti sun is hot and running low on drinking water today got the best of a few of them. Everyone is fine now and resting at home.
I'm looking forward to tomorrow and praying that we are able to continue to bless these wonderful people and children that we are growing so fond of. Before then however, I think I'm gonna need a shower.