The first time Carl and I gave something out to the kids, I think it was Laffy Taffy’s, they just kinda gathered around silently, took a piece and said “Meci”. I figured they were scared of us, we were “blans”, new and they didn’t know us. The next few times we gave out things, they behaved the same way, waited silently till we handed them whatever we were giving out, but now that they knew us and we knew their names, they called out all the names of the kids who were missing. I’ve worked with kids and youth enough to know that this is not normal behaviour. The usual reaction, when giving things out to kids is a lot of pushing, shoving, calling out “Me, Me, Me” and, if they know your name, it’s “Sigi, Sigi, Sigi”. I don’t know how, but the kids know that there will be enough to go around and I love how they take care of those missing. They’ve got each other’s back! If people only understood this basic lesson, there is enough for everybody! When someone gets a new car, a promotion or gets engaged that does not mean that you will not get a new car, a promotion or get engaged! Instead of spending time on jealously, could we just wait happily for our turn?
The past few weeks I have enjoyed watching the kids take care of each other. They do not have much adult supervision; there is one “Mother” in the Children’s Home and she is mostly busy cleaning and cooking. So the kids are left to take care of each other. I have watched as they pick each other up when they fall, bring each other water when they are sick, bathe each other, dress each other and help the little ones go to the outdoor bathroom. One time I entered the Children’s Home at lunch, 15 plates were placed on the table (the smaller children eat together) and as usual there were much fewer spoons. Meskalin, who I think is 7 or 8, was feeding KateLove who is 2, with her spoon. I insisted that she eat as well, but she kept on feeding KateLove with her spoon, not taking even one bite herself until more spoons were brought. Let me remind you that these children have 2 meals a day; there is no snacking, so when it is time for food, it is time for food! The kids also share whatever it is they have, if someone gets their hands on some leftover rice, they will all swarm together and share the plate, never with screaming or fighting. They even share the gum from inside the lollipop… it’s pretty gross, but it warms my heart!
In Haiti, when responding to the question how a just God can allow such misery, there is a saying, “Bondye konn bay, men li pa konn separe” – God gives but doesn’t share. I wish countries and people would understand that there is plenty to go around. So let’s share and have each other’s back!
Sending you much love from Haiti!
Sonn feeding KateLove
Samson helping Michelleda tie her shoes