This January for me will be spent remembering all the one year anniversaries of last January. My last January trip Jan 4-11, the earthquake on the 12th, the waiting to hear if Odette was ok or not, finally getting the call on the 14th that she was ok, the craziness of the next 9 days until she was finally home on January 23rd, and the list goes on.
I wanted to write down some things that I remember from my last trip to Haiti before I forget it (luckily the pictures I have help jog my memory).
We flew out of Knoxville on January 4th. This was the smallest team that I have ever gone with and was also the first trip that had no new people on it. There were only 9 people on this trip but 9 very excited people that could not wait to love on their Haitian family and to have Christmas with 18 precious girls. We left Knoxville and flew to Miami and then on to Port-au-Prince. Right now I can't remember all the reasons for the delays but it seems like there were delayed flights, and even a flat tire on the way to the orphanage so by the time we got to the mountains it was really late and we learned most of the girls were in bed. I was so anxious to see Odette because I hadn't been back since I left her on May 28th. The decision was made for the adopting parents to ride in Ricot's truck to the orphanage to pick up Benita, Valancia, Islande, and Odette. We stopped on the side of the road in the dark of night to pick Wousamy up on our way there. This was Karen's first time seeing him in about a year and a half. He was a little confused at first but soon very happy to be in his mommy's arms! When we got the orphanage it was very different that normal. The 18 girls were not standing on the front steps singing because it was so late. We went upstairs to find some awake and others asleep. I loved on some girls and then went to find Odette. Her room was dark and she was fast asleep. When I woke her up she started crying and hugged me for the longest time. After a short time at the orphanage we loaded up in Ricot's truck and headed out of Coq Chante. On the way out his truck got stuck in the mud so we had to start walking to Camatin in the dark and the mud from all the rain that they had the week before. Someone came in the big truck to pick us up so we didn't have to walk the whole way (which was great because I was not very prepared for the walk & was wearing my Tevas). We stayed up for a while playing with the girls and although Odette was happy to see me she was not acting like herself & she had a fever.
some picts from the first night
We woke up the next morning to learn that Odette wasn't feeling good when we got there because she had chicken pox and the first ones were just starting to appear. Chicken pox had been going through the orphanage and about half of the girl had gotten them over the last two months. I hated that she was sick but it was so sweet of God to let me be there when she was sick to help take care of her. After staying a while at Camatin that morning we loaded to up head to Coq Chante to see the other girls. We spent the day playing and loving on girls and other kids from the community that have become so special to each of us.
2nd day pictures
Lauren & Islande
Saintemene and Guerline
Ryan & Benita on the truck
Ricienna (love this picture!)
Wousamy and his brother Samuel
sweet kids from Coq Chante community
feeding them peanut butter wraps
Odette opening her present from Mamaw and Papaw (the girls loved the wrapping paper and used it the next day to wrap other things in)
Valancia on the roof at Coq Chante
(I went to the bathroom at Coq Chante and when I looked up my girl had written her name on the door)
boys playing soccer outside the orphanage