At the end of every day I spend in Haiti, I make a mental tally of what went right and wrong.
Some days are better than others.
We’ve spoken a great deal about the bad parts of Haiti lately, the danger, the insecurity, the violence that had our kids scared and hiding. But almost by the very nature of the nation’s endless challenges, every day that Haitians survive is a day to be celebrated.
And to be thankful.
Our orphanage is no different. Let me share a few moments that show how our little corner of this hot country is surviving and thriving, thanks to your help:
We needed to raise a good amount of money for security in the past two months. We did. The effects were immediate.
Suddenly, we have security guards not only at each entrance, but at the bridge near our ravine, and up the ravine, on both sides, and behind the structure we call “the white house” and near our border walls with neighbors.
Just seeing so many people devoted to keeping our us safe makes us feel a bit relieved and makes our kids much more relaxed.
Speaking of the kids, they have adjusted to circumstances, as they always do. They run daily drills at the sound of an alarm. They know where to go and how fast to get there.
We’ve also beefed up our actual perimeters, thanks to the funds we received. There are yards and yards of new fencing, and the old barriers have been raised, reinforced, and lined with barbed wire.
We also now have plans being drawn not only for a fortification of a “safe floor” with protective doors and windows, but also for an actual “safe room,” beneath the floor of an upcoming new structure. This safe room would be big enough for all our kids and staff to handle any worse-case scenario.
Meanwhile, we go on. Final exams are coming up in early June, and we are preparing once again for one of most cherished days — graduation. This year, four more of our high schoolers will wear the cap and gown, make shorts speeches, and be cheered wildly by the other kids and our staff.
All four have earned college scholarships to the U.S. That makes 13 to date, with one heading to medical school in July. If that doesn’t make you proud, I don’t know what will.
Music classes continue, with teachers coming to us, despite the dangers they face in traveling. Our kids are learning foreign languages from Spanish to Korean. And, miracle of miracles, two of our kids, Moïse and Bradley, who have been battling serious health issues, have been granted permission to see doctors in America, and will be doing so very soon.
The sun rises, the sun sets. The streets remain hot with anger, but our yard and gazebo remain shaded and cool, an oasis of rest and love and peace. For all you have done to keep these precious qualities going at our orphanage, we thank you. At the end of the day, it’s always a good day here.
A Year of Thanks & Giving
November: Kitchen — Goal Achieved
December: Safety Car — Goal Achieved
January: Nursery — Construction Goal Achieved
- Construction funded; Ongoing costs to support the hiring of a director for early childhood development and nursery supplies can be supported here.