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Immersion Trip Reflections- end of the trip

Sat, Apr 21st, 2012

On our last day in Haiti, we visited the Mother Teresa Baby Hospital in Port-au-Prince. The hospital was founded by Mother Teresa Sisters of Charity and cares for infants suffering from malnutrition and other illnesses. Holding the children in our arms and feeding them was a deeply moving experience. As they fiddled with our shirt buttons, fell asleep, or simply nestled their heads into our shoulders, we were awestruck at how sweet and delicate they were, and how easily they trusted us. It is deeply tragic that many are suffering from treatable illnesses.

In the afternoon, we moved on to Paula’s Orphanage for Girls, where we were treated to a tour of the facilities and several beautifully-sung songs by the children. To show our appreciation, we returned their serenade with a rendition of “Lean On Me”, with a member of our group accompanying on guitar. Several girls knew the words and were singing along! It was a great moment; the songs broke the language barrier and facilitated a cross-cultural connection.

It is difficult to capture in words the emotions that this trip elicited. The people that we met during the week, and the smiles of the children we sang, played, and danced with will live in my memory forever. Post-earthquake Haiti is still a proud, vibrant place of life and love, despite the daily struggles life presents. Among many other impressions, some of the things that struck me over the week were the strength and resiliency of the people we met, their sense of humor, how welcoming they were to us, and the strong role that community plays in their lives. I was also taken by how those who hosted us at the different locations we visited believed in what they were doing, and in the possibility of positive change for Haiti.

“What the eyes do not see, the heart does not know.“ This Haitian proverb came up often during our evening reflection sessions, where we shared thoughts and feelings about the day’s events.  Seeing this country with our own eyes was an incredibly powerful experience, and I feel I left a bit of my heart there as well. I’m incredibly thankful to our Outreach to Haiti hosts to have had this opportunity, and I definitely plan to return.

 

-Laura Mott

 


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