During the week, it was Alexa’s birthday. She runs the childrens’ home and we all ran to a beautiful farm to celebrate the day. The farm was organic and used ingenious methods to grow crops and other plants cheaply and efficiently. It was so much cooler on the top of the mountain where the grasses grew green and winds whispered among the shouldering peaks. The city of Port-au-Prince below was hot and dusty, a solid layer of beige hovering over it. Flowers of varying colors scattered the farm as we toured the land.
It was a beautiful day that ended with a humble rooftop party filled with tasty homemade treats and dinner and lots of great people. White lines of light swung on string around us in the wind as the sun set. Through laughs and smiles we all enjoyed another successful day in Haiti.
We spent Thursday back at the childrens’ home doing some crafts with the kids and finishing the second coat of paint. The room looked refreshed and we all spent time with the kids to round out the afternoon. The following day was spent overseeing a classroom with some young kids taught by one of the people who had worked in the childrens’ home. It was nice to see that lesson, but it was also an insight into the difficulties some of these kids, even the lucky ones who can go to school, must endure.
It was now Saturday. The last full day in Haiti and also the last full day of my trip. I couldn’t stop thinking about all of the people that I was just a number of hours away from seeing. This day was spent on a trip to the beach with the entire group of kids. It’s infrequent for the kids to get out of the house for safety reasons and so days like this are precious. They ran straight for the water and had smiles as big as watermelons striped across their faces.
Jumping into the water myself, I found 2, 3, and sometimes even 5 kids all hanging on my arms and shoulders as I waded around in circles through the clear water. For several hours, we just played in the water and stopped for lunch and played some more. It was a beautiful sunny day and I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect day to spend with those incredible kids and for my last day of a miraculous trip.
Emotions swirled around me. Incredible memories filled my mind as I asked my dearest Sarah some more questions and spent as much time at the beach as possible. It was a difficult goodbye but of course an inevitable one. Sarah and the rest of the kids waved as their bus road off into the dust. We all returned to our rooms and packed our bags, happy, exhausted, ready for home.
After a week spent with beautiful people in a uniquely beautiful place, we shipped ourselves to the airport. Minutes were splashing past me and I was doing my best just to enjoy the final hours. Finally, we boarded and rose up into the clouds. I was on my way home.