Sunday, March 26, 2017

Giggles and Gifts

One of the most heartwarming parts of the Haiti trip was passing out Christmas gifts to local children at feeding centers. The group members from Hawkeye Community College, our translators, and our host daughter, Kerri, all loaded a bus. We drove to a nearby feeding center with a boxes full of gifts for these very deserving children. When we arrived at the feeding center, the children were all seated inside. The smiles on their faces were priceless when we arrived. They were all so excited to see our group, as well as see us bring in boxes after boxes full of presents for them. There were about 60 kids just sitting at the end of their seats waiting to receive their gifts. Before they were able to get their gifts, Kerri decided it would be a good idea to sing songs and play games with them. Our translators led the children in song. They sang songs such as “Jesus Loves Me”, “Father Abraham”, and a few more. Although the kids were singing these songs in Haitian Creole, we could still understand from the beat. It was such an awesome experience to be able to clap, dance, and sing along, despite the language barrier. After we sang a few songs, we went outside to play games with the kids. The Hawkeye Community College group split up so all the kids would be able to hang out with at least one of us. Tessa Meyer, a sophomore at Hawkeye Community College, and Meghan Bond, an Agriculture Professor, and I split up into a group and taught the children how to play “duck, duck, goose”. The children called it “zwa, zwa, goose” which I later found out just meant “goose, goose, goose”. We played “zwa, zwa, goose” for about a half hour and it was nothing but giggles and smiles from the children the whole time. After 30 minutes passed we all went back into the feeding center to pass out the gifts. Each gift had the picture and name of the child in the bag so we knew who the gift went to. Kerri called out the names of the children and then they formed a line outside so we could take a picture of them with their new gifts so send to the person who sponsored them. When they left the feeding center, all the children were so happy and full of excitement and that was so rewarding to see. Passing out gifts to these children who don’t have much to call their own was so rewarding and humbling and it is not something I will soon forget.

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