Our first day of camp, and what a day it was! Language classes, games, basketball, soccer, crafts--paper airplanes and itsy bitsy spider!... We covered them all. Overall, we shared a lot of fun with a lot of amazing kids--and, of course, a few troublemakers! ;)
For Rob and myself, basketball was the name of the game, and I quickly learned how challenging a language barrier can be. Explaining the rules of "knockout" to a group that speaks exclusively Creole is no mean feat! That said, two salient characteristics soon emerged among our campers: resourcefulness and resilience. The few balls we were able to bring spawned countless games of basketball, soccer, and everything else under the sun! In the intervals, between their broken English and my hopeless Creole, many children shared some of the overwhelming trials and tribulations of their young lives. However, while these stories often involved devastating heartbreak, the children never missed a beat. Today was not for mourning: it was a celebration and an opportunity. If nothing else, our camp gave these children a day free from worry and full of fun--in other words, a day of the childhood that so many have missed recently.
In addition, I would be remiss if I did not sing the praises of Voices for Haiti. Our partner, our host, and our keeper, the members of VFH have exceeded all of our wildest expectations with their generosity and organization. Expecting to live this week in the harshest of conditions, we instead arrived to find a clean campground, plenty of space for recreation, and (gasp!) even indoor plumbing. Our meals have been both hearty and delicious, and no two have been alike! Moreover, the VFH staff has attended to our every need with more grace and generosity than I thought possible. In short, they have been a Godsend.
Finally, today brought a profound awareness of--and gratitude for--the bedrock upon which our trip rests: our generous donors. Without your support, our work here would not be possible, and we join the children of Cabaret in thanking you from the bottom of our hearts.