The past few days have been busy and fun-filled here at PID Haiti, where we held the remaining 3 our of 4 sponsored children Christmas parties. Sunday and Tuesday were for children ages 9 and up, while Monday was for the 2nd group of kids in the younger age bracket. The parties were a huge success!! The backpacks and all that filled them were a big hit for kids of all ages. It is always a special time when old sponsors get to reunite with their sponsored kids, as well as new sponsors get the chance to meet their sponsored kids. It's beautiful when the children's faces light up as they get to meet their new "Godmother" or "Godfather". Other kids ask me, "Is my sponsor here? When is he/she coming?"
On Sunday after the party, the team had the opportunity to go to downtown Port-au-Prince for a tour and a dinner out at Epidor. This was especially nice for some of the team members whose first time it is coming to Haiti. They were able to see more of Haiti than what they saw on the PID compound and in the Blanchard community. Some of the returning team members who've been here in past years noticed changes and improvements.
While most of the team members spent their days running the Christmas parties, playing with the children, helping them write letters, take photos, and passing out gifts, Brad, Peter, and Brian remained busy working on their list of clinic improvements. They finished the septic system/leeching field for the new office building. The baby fever shower is complete with both a sink for bathing small babies and a shower for bathing older children. It is amazing and better than any of us had ever pictured it'd be. And the new lab- even better! The new lab has not only moved over to the wound care room complete with a new divider, but also now has new cabinets for lab supplies, a dutch door for the divider where patients will hand over urine samples, and a new curtained off area right in the lab where the patient can pee or swab themselves. Jonette spent the whole weekend working here, helping the guys design and set up the new lab, and both her and Betty are very excited and proud of it.
This evening, Mr. Genois came by to thank the team for all their hard work and tell them about PID's programs, especially sponsorship. He spoke frankly about the struggles of life in Haiti when you're poor, about some of the difficult situations families encounter, and how sponsorship changes the lives of the children in these situations. He also, when asked, shared with the group a little of his story and how he grew up and how he became involved with PID. Brad told Mr. Genois that when we come to Haiti, even though we come to give and to help, we leave feeling that we have received more than we have given. Mr. Genois was very touched by this; he'd never realized that. He said that God's blessing will follow each and every one of us for all that we are doing.
It was a great week. It's hard to believe it's over already. We will really miss the team, but we're already looking forward to next year.