by Jennifer Schmidt – September 2006
Words cannot adequately express my experience in Haiti. I can still see the faces of the people when I close my eyes. The Haitians are amazing and enduring. Despite all the poverty, garbage in the streets, lack of infrastructure, no running water and no electricity, their faith in God shines everywhere. Written on buildings with chipped paint, hand-painted on the trucks they call “Tap Taps” that they use as taxis to get around are the words that remind them of faith and God’s presence. The Haitians are some of the most talented artists. We were able to purchase hand carved wooded vases, statues, hand-shaped and painted metal suns, flowers, animals all made from scrap metal. All of their art is breathtaking and unique.
I remember taking photos of children, then turning my digital camera around so they could see the photo. They would laugh and giggle with excitement and call their friends over to see. They would ask for another picture and all gather around to see the end result. The basics that we take for granted every day, like looking into a mirror and “having a bad hair day”. These children have probably never even had a mirror to look into and see themselves. This may have been the first time they have seen themselves and what they truly look like. The children were amazing and it is true that children are children no matter where you go in the world.
The people of Haiti are so appreciative of all that we have done for them and you can see the gratitude and hope in all of their eyes. Every little bit makes a difference. One person at a time, one house at a time, one smile at a time! 🙂