500am…roof top balcony…Scott…roosters crowing…. dogs barking…gorgeous sunrise.
Right after breakfast Scott, Mike, Pete and myself jumped into the Montero with Jamel and left for Williamson; we wanted a head start on the swing set-rebuilding project. The Williamson School is not too far from the Luly School. As we were driving towards Williamson, the skies ahead of us were dark; the rain had stopped shortly before our arrival into the village.
When we arrived at the school, we were greeted with smiles from the children and the Pastor. Scott brought along pictures that he took at this school during the July 2012 trip and he taped them up onto the wall of the school. The children ran over and the smiles and giggles emerged from their faces. Even with the language barrier, you could tell that they recognized their classmates and themselves in the pictures.
As the rest of the team arrived, so did more children. Pat informed us that due to the rain, the children had a ‘rain day’ and had no school for the day…yet they came to school anyhow.
A group of us walked up the hill to the Pastor’s house (WWV built this house for him and his family). On the way we saw the chicken coop that last year’s team built. We also passed a woman sitting on her front step washing laundry. Almost all laundry is hand washed in Haiti…the whites are the whites of white. The clothes are scrubbed by hand using rocks and other tools then hung out to dry (I wonder what was going through her mind with several Blancs standing at her porch taking pictures of her washing her laundry).
The Pastor’s home was a great home (by Haiti standards). It was simple…it was effective…it was secure…it was home
We then walked further up the hill to a site in which WWV is hoping to purchase and to build a new permanent guest home as well as hopes to build several homes that the citizens of Williamson could rent. On this piece of land you could see the mountains on one side and the ocean on the other. The wide-open fields and wildlife and scenery were breathtaking. Anne and I hinted to Pat that we would be willing and wanting to rent one of the apartments on a regular basis for our visits back ‘home’.
Back at the Williamson School, some of the team was hard at work on the swing set. This swing set went together better and faster than the swing set in Luly.
Peter and Ammot gathered the children that were present into the outside classroom…it was Paper Tambourine making time!! The children ranged from three years old to around fourteen years old. After the bells were in place and the tambourines were secured shut with shoelaces and they were decorated with stickers, then the real fun began. Ammot lead the children in songs and the whole village could hear the jingles of the bells and the singing of the children. The energy in the room was amazing…it was a ‘you had to be here’ moment.
Next came the time to hand out gifts to the children. Our group had a generous donation from TLC toys…we had dozens and dozens of wooden cars, wooden kaleidoscopes and chocolate-brown dolls. Jake donated dozens of disc golf Frisbees and Harold had put together and donated 63 jump ropes. The toys were lined up in the kitchen (the 2012 team had laid the foundation for this kitchen and funded the building project). Peter dismissed six children at a time to come into the room to pick out a toy…. each child had a mark placed on their wrist so that we knew who had received a toy. Peter (big rough & tough guy) became emotional as he shared his joy in seeing each of the children receiving a gift. He explained that children in Haiti do not receive gifts of their own…it was like Christmas in May.
After a successful workday in Williamson, we left for an afternoon of rest and relaxation at Wahoo Bay. The sandy beach and pristine blue water was a breathtaking site. Tom happened to be wearing his CRABBY shirt today (there were SEVERAL jokes at his expense today). As he was standing in the ocean, a local merchant approached Tom in the water and pulled a bag out of the water…out from this bag came a crab…it was quite the site…Crabby Tom and Crabby enjoying the ocean together.
God’s creation and beauty was definitely on display today…we are blessed.
God. Is. Good.