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Friday, March 25, 2016

Last Day

Today was my final day in Haiti. We woke up early so we could spend more time at the land. The first thing I did was sort their Mothers Day shirts that we're selling! If you want more information, go to my mom's Facebook page. 

I made a few bracelets with the bead ladies. I asked Louisemene to do my hair and she braided it and added beads. So bel(beautiful)! The moms had one education class today because they leave early on Fridays. My mom filmed them singing because their song is about them thanking Jenn and Amy for Second Mile. It is a beautiful thing to listen to!

I played with Carelovedine and Richard some more. I took a picture with Carelovedine before we left. One interesting thing that my mom and I talked about was how I view things different than she does. We saw some kids kicking a rock or a piece of fruit around and trying to get it in between two sticks sticking out of the ground. I said that they were playing soccer, and that they were being creative with what they had. My mom said that she feels bad that they don't have a real soccer ball. I seem to see the good in hard situations. This shows that everyone views things differently. 

Haiti was a different experience for me, and I viewed it the way that I view everything: find the good in things. You can apply this back to your life. This is the main thing that Haiti has taught me. Not that people are less privileged in other countries. Not that I'm lucky to live where I do. Find the good in things. And in people. And in life. 

Lots of love,
Sofia ❤️

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Day 4

The power went out again last night, so they turned the generator on. It sounded like there was a motor running outside our window! I didn't fall asleep until the power turned back on.

Our breakfast was fruit again today. They had pineapple! It was so sweet because it was fresh. We talked for a bit and then we went to the Second Mile land again. I went in with the beading ladies and learned how to roll beads! They're really easy and really fun to make. If you want to see the pictures, you should friend my mom on Facebook. She has posted all of the pictures of me on there.

After I made a handful of beads, I watched more classes and played with the kids. The two girls from yesterday weren't there today, which made me upset, because I was looking forward to playing with them. The other kids, Richard and Carelovedine(I think that is how you spell it), played with me. Amy suggested that I bring out some foam stickers and paper, so I did in hopes that I could keep the kids occupied as the moms talked. I think that the moms were more entertained with the stickers than the kids! They put them on their arms and all over the paper.

Amy brought out rubber bands to make bracelets. They were the Rainbow Loom ones. I taught the moms how to make a special kind of bracelet, and they loved it! Even the kids tried! I made a bracelet for each of the kids. Carelovedine's had a heart charm on it. I told her my name, and she seemed to like it because she would repeat my name over and over again when she saw me. She was so sweet! I hope I can spend my last day here with her and the other kids.

To end a great day, we went swimming in a pool at a hotel. We were going to go to a beach, but my mom isn't feeling good so we went to the one that had a shorter drive. It was very relaxing. I'm upset about going home tomorrow, but this has been a fun trip!

Lots of love,
Sofia

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Day 3

Last night, the power went out for a while, so we were unable to fall asleep, sweating uncontrollably. The roosters crowed at dawn again, waking both of us up. We came downstairs for a delicious breakfast of mangoes, bananas, apples, and oranges. After that, we packed up all of the beads we brought here. I worked with the beading ladies at the Second Mile land for most of the day. I taught the ladies how to make bracelets, organized the containers and then went outside.

I watched two more education classes today. Most of the kids were crying during these classes, which my mom can't stand. She left the bead room to go hold babies. They didn't sing at the end of each class today, but it was still cool to see. The teacher would say something and the moms would say it back. It was all in Creole, of course, so I couldn't understand any of it.

I played with kids during the classes so they wouldn't bother their parents. Two of the little girls I played with stood out to me. They were sisters, but their parents had died, so they lived with their grandmother, their aunt, and their cousins.Their cousins were twin babies, and these girls were taking care of them. They held the babies for the whole first class. The grandma came and took one of them, and my mom held the other one. Both of the sisters loved my hair! They took turns putting it in a ponytail.  The oldest girl, whose name I don't know, took a hair binder from her hair (which was beautiful!) and put it in my hair. I offered it back to her after a few minutes, but she insisted that I keep it.

After that, she wanted to play a hand game with me. It was hard communicating with her because she spoke Creole. She showed me what to do and we played for over 15 minutes. I took pictures with them and sadly had to go. The amazing thing was that they were so happy this whole time! Their cousins were crying, but they never wiped that smile off of their faces. I hope I can play with them again either tomorrow or Friday! Thanks for reading!

Lots of love,
Sofia

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Day 2 Part 2

After COTP, we took the long, bumpy road to Second Mile. A nice man named Errod drove us around today. The people who live on those streets are the poorer Haitians. All of them, mothers, fathers, and children, were working hard out there. It helped me realize that most Americans take the richness of our country and use it as an excuse to be lazy. Seeing these people working so hard is making me want to do more for my community. I already volunteer in two places, but there's more I could do at home.

It was amazing to finally see the Second Mile land. My dad, who is known of as Jenson there, has done lots of work, so it was cool seeing all of the things I have seen from pictures. Some of the people he worked with remembered him and my mom, who was Madam Jenson to them, and they called me Petit (small or child) Jenson. Jenn gave us a great tour of the whole land. The gardens were huge! They had bigger corn plants than I have ever seen in the US.  They had banana trees, carrots, onions, spinach, moringa, beans, peppers, and chaya.

I saw someone making coconut oil, and we're taking back some mango jam. If you know how I felt about the mangoes here, then you can assume how overjoyed I am to try the jam!!!! I stayed to watch an education class about cholera. They watched videos in Creole and sang songs at the end. My mom was playing with the kids and I was in the office next to the education building typing my previous blog post. My mom couldn't not play with the kids, of course.

We had a great dinner made by Lalita. It was quinoa and roasted vegetables with beans. It was very good, but the heat must mess with my appetite, because I haven't been too hungry all day! I'll post again tomorrow. We're going to the land all day!

Lots of love,
Sofia

Day 2 Part 1

So far, today has been filled with a lot of awesome experiences. First thing- roosters woke us up at 5:30. My mom said that they will meet their untimely death soon. Yep, that's coming from an animal lover. I tried Haitian mango for breakfast this morning. OMG. It's AMAZING! Jenn and Amy said that mangoes aren't in season, and the ones that they have now are less sweet and more stringy, but I can't even imagine what the other mangoes are like. Yum...

Ok, I'm done obsessing over the mangoes. We went to Children of the Promise, which is where we got Rosa. It has changed so much since we picked her up. The children live in houses with actual caretakers, instead of it being a free-for-all with kids running around in poopy diapers, with snotty noses, and no clothes. Most of the nannies there remembered her, and it was so sweet seeing their faces light up when they saw her picture. I met the nanny that she used to talk about a lot. She hugged me, gave me a kiss on the cheek, and smiled the whole time as we talked about Rosa and showed her pictures. I'll try and post the picture later.

Now, I'm at the Second Mile land. I'll post more about this in part 2 of Day 2.

Lots of love,
Sofia



Quick Morning Update

Hi everyone! We just woke up here. I slept with no blankets on and a fan on because it's so hot! I woke up the first time this morning at about 5:30 due to all of the roosters. My mom said that I'm going to hate roosters by the time this trip is over. Let's just say that I strongly dislike them already. ;)

Lots of love,
Sofia

Monday, March 21, 2016

My First Day

For those of you who don't know, this is Sofia. I'm updating this blog in Haiti.  

First of all, I'm not a morning person. I started my day by waking up at 3 AM to get on a 5:00 flight. Eww. The plane rides were easy and smooth, but I didn't sleep at all. On our flight to Cap-Haitien, we sat by a father and his daughter, who was about my age. They were traveling to Haiti with a similar objective: to help. It was their first time to Haiti, and we talked the whole time.

When we arrived at the Cap-Haitien airport, I was shocked by the size of it. The building itself was close to the size of a big house. It was not at all what I expected. They checked our passports with straight, bored faces, and then we went to get our bags. No, not like at a U.S. airport. They put the bags on a rack and people had to come and claim them. It was chaos! People were shouting Creole words, bumping into me, and not letting us get through. Now I know how immigrants feel when they come to America: lost.

We got our bags and waited outside in the heat. My phone said that it was 90 degrees then. Holy. Crap. The only thing that I could do to cool off was take a cold shower. Looks like I'll be taking showers 5 times a day...

Amy picked us up and drove us to her and Jenn's house. The town was not what I expected, but in a good way. My mom told me that the stink would be awful and that there would be lots of poverty. To say the least, it was pretty much the opposite. There still was a lingering stink, and poverty was still there, but the Haitians were fully clothed, carrying phones and walking around town.

The market was a crazy experience, but a good one. People were yelling 'Americano!' and 'White!' while staring at us. I always hate it when people stare at me, but I now know how people who aren't white feel living in the U.S. I bought bracelets and metal geckoes for all of my friends who are anxious to hear about my journey. We ended the day by going out to eat. It wasn't a fancy place, but the food was amazing! I had a hamburger(of course) and tried the plantains and pikliz that Amy and Jenn had.

I will have another post done tomorrow night. Thank you all for supporting me!!

Lots of love,
Sofia