Wow, it has been a crazy three days and they have gone by like a whirlwind!!! Friday night was movie night with the children- something they look forward to all week and something I will be in charge of while Rachel is in Austin. You can tell which movies have been playing recently at the Hope House because all you hear when nearing the orphanage are High School Musical tunes being sung and it is not out of the ordinary to see kids in the courtyard practicing their karate moves since they have recently seen The Karate Kid.
On Saturday night, we had a Christmas party with the Hope House kids. For three years now, a team from Canada has been filling up a backpack for each child and delivering them during their very own Christmas party. All of the kids call one man Papa Noel (Santa Claus) because he has a white beard, so he was dressed up in a full Santa suit, allowing each of the kids a turn to sit on his lap and receive their backpack. Each child was so excited to get their gifts and two of the older children, Jean Marc and Nicole, thanked the Canadian team with a beautiful song at the end.
Today was my first Sunday in Haiti and my first experience at the Church of Hope. It was beautiful to see all of the Haitian families from miles around come into the packed church to sing and dance as if nobody else was around. After church, I had my first experience riding on a Tap Tap- the Haitian version of a taxi- which is basically an old pickup truck with a canopy built over the bed that people tap when they want the driver to stop. We ate lunch in a town call Source Matla at a restuarant call Gwapapa Poul- Big Daddy Chicken. It was a great experience to see the people in the town and have the children following us yelling some of the only English words they know- "hey you, bring me candy!!" :-)
I have been doing a lot of preparation this weekend because tomorrow is my first day of English classes with the kids!!! I will have four separate classes in the afternoons of Monday, Wednesday and Friday which will include all of the kids ranging in their different skill levels from 2-4:30pm. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I will have volleyball lessons with the kids. They are all very excited as we are having volleyball poles permanently cemented into the ground at the Hope House tomorrow morning and will have a big volleyball tournament the weekend before I return home. It is precious to see the kids run up and yell "Bef, bump!!!" whenever they see me because they hope that I have brought a volleyball. In addition to all of my classes with the children, the "mommies" (women who take care of the kids at the orphanage) have asked if I would be willing to do a short class with them as well. I will be teaching them in the mornings while the kids are at school and they are very eager to learn.
I have many pictures and videos to share with all of you that might have to wait until I am back home to load- the lack of speed of the internet here has been a problem but I cannot wait for y'all to see these precious children!! Also, please pray for a young man here on a Kansas City team who broke his ankle tonight. He is getting an emergency flight back home tomorrow to surgically fix his leg as it was broken in three places. As always, thank you all for your love and support! I will post pictures as soon as I can :-)