Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Haiti Update #11: Jumping rope proves a universal pastime

My highlight of yesterday was definitely jumping rope with the girls. It’s amazing that I have been here two and a half weeks and I have not taken the time to do one of my favorite pastimes in Haiti. My role this summer has been a lot of managing the house, cooking the meals, organizing the teams and ministry. I enjoy doing these tasks and using my gifts in these areas but I was reminded yesterday that my real joy comes in just being with and loving on the children.

After Story Time we brought out jump ropes, soccer balls and some of the other games the team brought from the United States. I asked Bev and Dana on the team if they could be in charge of dinner. Meanwhile, Ericlee watched Giada and Meilani and I just played with the Haitian kids. Probably more than 100 kids gathered in the yard of this “free play time.”

I spent most of my time jumping rope with various groups of girls. Even one Haitian mom came to turn the rope and join in the fun. Jump rope is one of those universal games that transcend the language barrier and any other cultural clash of organization. Haitian girls young and old can participate. Some of them have this amazing sense of rhythm and its fun to see them go at it. Some girls jump double dutch style and I hear the slap-slap, slap-slap, slap-slap of their baer feet on the dust floor. Others play a game where they jump together and then twist and switch positions.

Nathan Freeland and I actually jumped rope together for about 20 rounds and the Haitian girls thought that was hilarious to watch these two “blancs” jump together. Today I’m feeling the calf workout from jumping in my flip flops. I guess I’m getting in a creative “Go, Mama Workout” after all.

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