Think Frankie Valle and “Oh What a Night”…. Oh What a Day!!! Early November in Haiti.
We started off early to find the Art Market and made it too early – it did not open until 9. Oh what a find!! Each of us carried away our Haitian treasures from tin wall hangings to wooden bowls, to stationary, and baskets, and Christmas decorations to painting that Clark the new master trader made possible from street vendors. And, we carried them off in hand woven reed totes.
Next stop the grocery. We cleaned them out of coconut cookies and big containers of ice cream and plastic bags for all the goodies after the carnival. Kathy and I distributed and personally gave each child in the special needs area and kindergarten a beanie baby. Jennifer – took some terrific pictures. She is the team Ansel Adams!! Unfortunately, we learned Margaret had seizures last night and had gone to the hospital. She was expected to return this afternoon , per Pere [Sadoni] but we did not see her when we left at 3:30. I gave a toy to Clarisanne for her.
When we arrived at St. Vincent, we waited around for an hour and a half until Jean Robert said we had to see 20 of the deaf children that he forgot!! and 20 minutes prior to us sitting up the ice cream for the children. Let me echo Laura – seriously!! Every student jumped to attention and voile in 25 minutes we processed all 20 kids through with a few needing something for a cold, fungus on their feet and one major case of otitis. Good teamwork.
Now the fun!! At first, the children came to the courtyard area for their ice cream and cookie. YUM YUM!! I was with a couple of the children asking them if it was good and one sweet child saw I did not have one and wanted to give me his – God love him. Such a rare treat and he wanted me to have his chocolate ice cream. All 6 tubes disappeared in a matter of about 30 minutes.
The bubbles were a hit, as was Kathy and the face painting. My special little guy has learned my name – Suzan! That’s works me!! Actually it just about turned me into a puddle.
Now the carnival – music and fun. The classrooms were set up and ready to go.
Oh my goodness!! the line to duck pond (tub with water) was stormed; 7-14-21 were the lucky numbers to get both crayons and a coloring book, the rest received either just crayons or colored pencils. They came back again and again and I was giving out bubble gum and other candy, finally ended by giving out the ducks.
The other game areas went just as well with the ring toss a favorite and jump robes the favorite prize. The mini-balls, notebooks, pencil holders, bubbles, and pencils and stickers… to be honest each item given to a child or adult produced a huge smile!!
Kathy had a special joy watching the blind children playing the ring toss with the area cheering and encouraging each of them to success; a community effort for them. Ramelle was reduced to tears! Jean Robert took them home for his family!
When we got on the bus we were stinkin’ tired. No seriously. We stunk and we were tired. Some of us may not have taken the best of pictures for the team shot but if you had seen us when we got on the bus…. not pretty!! You know the cliche’ ridin hard and put away wet – that says it for all of us. Clark has given up his week long dream of going to RAM!!
Dinner was a treat; parsley potatoes, slaw, tomatoes, avocados, and roast pork. There are others at the guest house but you would think we had not eaten all week. AND Greg, that guy has a hollow leg and a super charged metabolism.
This is our last day with the children and always bitter sweet. I look forward to our beach day but am sad to leave them. Hugs and kisses from so many, including Marie Carmel and JoJo, and all the special sweet precious children.
Okay… time for the Prestige I put in the freezer when we got back and a shower. Note I did not say hot shower… that is a figment of my imagination. Blessings to all who have supported this mission both emotionally and with fund for the school. Oh what a glorious day!
Dr. Sue Trzynka teaches nursing at CBU in Memphis and lives in Jackson, TN