In two days I will be flying Eastwards towards Haiti. This is a bit surreal as I assumed my trip there last year would be a once in a lifetime trip. The first trip was eye opening and life changing, to say the least. It was definitely my first time visiting a place that impoverished and completely broken. The smells are still burned into my memory as are images of goats tied everywhere, pigs on motorcycles, and a country where the electricity turns off at night (thankfully our hotel had a generator). Most of all, I remember the kids that saw us as representatives of the Reliv Kalogris Foundation (RKF) and came running with smiles and hugs. The RKF doesn’t just offer food to these kids, it offers love and the kids reciprocate.
As I’m preparing to return to Cap-Haïtien I find myself wondering how things will have changed in a year. Will there be progress in this third world country? Last year some houses were being cleared to make way for a new street along the waterfront. I’m curious if this road has been completed. I wonder if there will be no buildings. I wonder if there will be a sense of hope in this country where the only hope I saw last year was connected with kids receiving aid from the RKF. I have no illusions that there will be enough progress that I’ll find a Starbucks on a street corner somewhere but I would hope that things have improved a little bit.
Finally, I wonder if any of the kids will recognize the guy in the hat. I know the kids we saw on our last trip left an impression on me, I wonder if I made an impression on them as well. I particular think of several kids at the orphanage where we will be bringing Christmas and Papa Noel to. As we bring a little bit of Christmas from the United States to these kids in Haiti, I can’t help but think that the real gifts will be given to us as we share Christmas with these kids. They may be getting presents and Papa Noel but we will be getting something far greater.
This week as I travel to Haiti, I’m going to attempt to blog daily about the trip. This is of course contingent on the ability to connect to the internet while on the ground in Cap-Haïtien. I hope you will join me and follow along on this Christmas adventure.
Make it a GREAT day!
- Mr. DAPs