Saturday, August 07, 2010

Haiti Update: Team enjoys Grand Finale of VBS

Today was our final day of Vacation Bible School here in Haiti. We started our morning with singing as usual. The kids taught us a Hatian Kreyol version of "If you're Happy and you Know it." We had a lot of fun clapping our hands, stomping our feet and shouting Amen and Bravo!

I had the special privilege of teaching the Bible Story Time for this last day (with a little help from my hubby). I reviewed what we had learned from the week and finished up teaching the kids about the "sword of the spirit" and "helmet of salvation." Then I shared the story of David and Goliath and how David was equipped not with physical armor but the Armor of God. I had the kids help me act it out and then we had a surprise visit from a scary Goliath who was fully armed (and carrying Giada in a backpack on his back). The girls cowered at the growls of the giant. Our designated David got out his slingshot with foam rocks and knocked that giant down. It was pretty hilarious to see Ericlee fall (forward) with Giada strapped to his back.

Meanwhile, Jenn, Dana and Stephanie were leading the Craft group in making "swords" out of cardboard and tin foil. The kids posed for tons of pictures with their "full armor" after a week's worth of creativity in Craft class. Jeremy and Kelly completed their final day of teaching drama to the kids with  a few more skits. They had the kids acting out the parts. Our Game Time focused on soccer skills. It was so fun to see the progress in the kids. The first day was very chaotic but today they seemed to get into their teams right away. They have really become quite competitive and loved watching the teachers demonstrate the events.

Since today is Saturday we also took the opportunity in the afternoon to take our team to the market. Market Day is the center of the economy of many of the rural towns. Pignon's market is bursting with people buying and selling from sun up until sundown. Wilcion, one of the young Haitian men, served as our translator and ushered us down to the market.

Unfortunately, we had to go there at the hottest part of the day. Our team tried to stay together as we weaved our way through the throngs of people. We saw people selling avocados, mangoes, potatoes, cilantro, cloves, flour, corn meal. We saw people selling straw hats, chairs, machetes and dishes. We walked through the clothes section. Here the sellers stack clothes in a pile and buyers sort through in search of something they might like. There are no clothes racks or mannequins to show off outfits. I was surprised to see designer jeans and shoes - something that was not part of this market a few years ago.

Our team's most memorable experience in the market was walking through the raw meat section. That was a little eye-opening for some who are used to "shrink-wrapped cuts" we find in our American grocery stores. Enough said.

This afternoon Ericlee taught Games for the youth camp. He has done that all week at Peter's request. About 100 young people approximately ages 15-25 have been staying on the mission campus in Pignon. They study the Bible and sing in the mornings, play games in the afternoon and attend church services every evening.

Ericlee led them in some of the same relays he did with the younger kids. He split them up girls and guys. The girls laughed and giggled but once they got into it appeared even more competitive than the guys.

We had a full day but so rewarding. Our team is starting to anticipate some of the sadness of saying goodbye to all these wonderful children and new Haitian friends. We are savoring the little things that will remind us of our experience in Haiti: a cold coke in a bottle, our last goat meat at dinner and even a sighting of Mickey Mouse, our friendly mouse here in the Mission House.

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