A Day in the Life of a Faith Adventure
Dave and Susan Watkins began their 2 month journey in Haiti with a family Faith Adventure that included their 2 teenage daughters, Cali and Nicole, as well as two of their friends, Rylee and Carli. Together they spent most of their time with the kids at the Glory Glory Center, preparing for the Glory Glory Christmas Eve celebration (purchasing and wrapping gifts thanks to generous donors), and experiencing Haitian culture. Read Rylee’s blogpost below for insight into their experience and make sure to check the Watkins family blog at www.watkinsinhaiti.com.
Friends and family! I’m so excited to share another day with you! This morning we were surprised to have hot chocolate and crepes for breakfast. You wouldn’t think one would enjoy a hot drink here in Haiti, but the hot chocolate was really a treat, and the crepes were some of the best I’ve had.
After breakfast, we spent another morning at the orphanage with greetings from 54 little hugs and kisses. The love I’ve felt from these kids is a love I have never experienced before. They continuously amaze me with their joy and generosity, and every time I am away from them, all I can think about is the next time I’ll get to see them. Sadly, we only spent a short amount of time with them today before we had to say goodbye and say hello to a new adventure, the indoor/outdoor Haitian market.
The four of us girls spent the next half hour in the back of Pastor Sam’s truck with the wind in our hair, traveling to Les Cayes to go to the Haitian market to buy Christmas presents for all the kids at the orphanage. Driving into the market was like nothing I have ever seen before. In every direction all you could see were crowds of people just trying to do their daily shopping for everything from fresh produce to hardware supplies. One thing I noticed is that pedestrians DO NOT have the right of way. All I can say is that I am pleasantly surprised Dave hasn’t hit anyone for being a new driver here. After driving around observing from the back of the truck we finally found a place to park and the craziness began.
We started our shopping in the small busy street but quickly found ourselves up a tall flight of stairs in a tightly packed building. There were venders on both sides of us trying to sell us anything and everything they had in their little shops. There was barely a walkway and not to mention barely any light or fresh air. The longer we stayed up there the more it felt like a maze, with objects purposefully placed to trip you. You could say we were the odd ones out. People laughed when we ran into things, which felt inevitable, but they had a system to navigating their way around that we clearly did not understand. At one point, I think we began to laugh at ourselves.
After what felt like hours of having no fresh air, we finally made our way back down the stairs and into another area where we looked for more presents. This time we barely made it ten feet in the door before we realized Nicole was missing. You would have thought she was easy to spot in the crowd, but it wasn’t so easy to see her when she was nearly on the floor. Yes, she fainted. This is where the hectic community of people came to surprise me. When the people realized what had happened everyone dropped everything they were doing to help. The many street venders came over with water and concern to make sure she was okay. One lady even made space in her shop to make a bed for Nicole so she could lay down. I have never seen so many people with such genuine concern and compassion for a total stranger and this, today, was where I saw God’s presence. No one went back to their normal routine until Nicole had a smile back on her face, which she soon did.
By the time we finished up all the shopping, and all 54 kids had presents to open on Christmas Eve, we made our way back to the cars and back to our hotel. On the way back you could see the exhaustion in our faces, so we decided to shower and rest. Susan and I spent our afternoon overlooking the pool and the countryside, talking about the Haitian culture. She amazes me with her knowledge and I am so grateful that she has passed some of that knowledge down to me and the other girls.
We finished off our day with my favorite dinner yet which was pasta, rice, french fries, fish, chicken and fresh avocado. I can speak for all of us when I say that we are exhausted and ready for a good night’s sleep, but excited for another great day.
Love and blessings, Rylee
Originally posted December 22, 2015 at www.watkinsinhaiti.com