Sunday, November 3, 2013

HAITI :: Trash or Treasure

The piece of paper that started it all 
Where one sees trash, 
another sees treasure.

Today, a small piece of discarded paper laid the foundation for a budding relationship between our team and the Haitian people.

Our day began with seven of us gathered in bone-chilling Ohio and ended in the tropics, quite a contrast from morning until evening! As it was a holiday in Haiti, the often chaotic roar of Port-au-Prince streets was a mere growl. Our commute from the airport to Petionville was short and in no time we were knocking on the Methodist guesthouse gates.

After dropping our bags in the dormitory, the Fabulous Five (all of our girls) went off to explore the grounds – all 11 acres! During our unguided tour past the guesthouse, new living quarters and dormitories, multi-purpose sports field, pastor’s residences and offices, we discovered a single teenage boy jumping across a large hopscotch board painted on the concrete in one of the school’s many courtyards.

There, in the nearly deserted area between two school buildings, the magic happened. Our girls began hopping across the board with him. A friendly competition ensued, bringing laughter and camaraderie that crossed our language barrier. 

Hana, MK and Kenzie giving it a shot
Our first competitor!
MK, Kenzie and Hana inviting others to play!
As we took turns playing, more and more kids showed up. Players ranged from 4ish to 20-somethings. In the midst of a game, one of the younger boys walked away and began searching for an unknown object. Interestingly enough, he passed by hundreds of small pieces of concrete and opted for this particular bit of trash to be our hopscotch rock! 

Back and forth, the kids played, American beside Haitian. Few words were exchanged other than exclamations of BRAVO! and many laughs. It was the ice-breaker we all needed for this team of mostly newbies to begin feeling comfortable in this foreign land.

Hana demonstrating her hops with Maggie and Kenzie looking on

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