Thursday, July 23, 2009
Haiti Update #7: Dolls delight Haitian children
Thursday, July 23
A woman from our church in Fresno donated her doll collection to give to the Haitian kids. Today we had the chance to see this gift in action. Meilani helped me and we gave out several dozen little dolls to the girls in the street who often hang around the church. Each doll was carefully wrapped in a ziplock bag. These little dolls came with their own little outfits. There was a bride, a princess, a doctor, a scarecrow, a bunny costume, a Renaissance girl and more.
At first when we passed out the dolls, the Haitian girls just held them. None of them wanted to really take them out of their little Ziplocks. I urged Meilani to show them how to play with them. Meilani has an extensive world of imagination when she plays dolls at home. She sets up Story Time for her dolls and stuffed animals. She cooks them meals and hosts tea parties. I thought to myself, if only these precious Haitian girls had access to this imaginative play.
Admittedly, Meilani was a bit disappointed that none of the girls could really *play* with her. She grew frustrated the language barrier. We decided to come inside the house and take a rest.
Our real joy came later in the day when we took a walk to go do e-mail. About half a block down from the church we found a group of the girls sitting on a porch with their dolls. They were surrounded by strips of fabric they had ripped from old clothes. One of the older girls held a razor blade and was expertly slicing the fabric while the others were using thread and needle to sew tiny clothes. When they saw us, their smiles exploded as they showed what they were doing. Even a few boys had joined the party. I saw there a glimpse of how something out of our American excess became a treasure to these little ones.