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New Life in Haiti

October 14, 2010

I was back at the New Life orphanage again today.

This is the place with the special needs kids. They also have special needs adults here but they tend to only advertise the kids. Apparently, babies raise a lot of money. A 20-year-old stroke victim or an albino adult with mental health issues…. not so much.

I was sorting clothes today. It really opened my eyes to how little people think about what they donate. Most of the stuff was for adult women. Very little for kids and not much in the way of underwear for kids which is always needed. There was also a lot of winter clothes. It’s Haiti. There’s no winter.

before

after

My job today was to sort the clothes by type – small boys, bigger boys, adult women, adult men, etc. The upside to having me here to do this is that someone who’s actually qualifed for far more important things didn’t have to do it. That someone is Fran Bernard who came here a few months ago to be a clothes sorter for 3 weeks, but can’t bring herself to leave and so now she’s an administrator at the orphanage. 

(Note to people who donate things: Separate by type and label. You will be blessed.)

(Note to mom-types: Summer is over. When I return to the USA, I will be posting links on places where you can donate clothing.)

For most of the day, I worked alone, sorting clothes in a very hot building that made me think Bikram yoga thoughts like “just stay in the room” and “small sips of water”. I bopped along to my ipod for hours.

My helpers

In the late afternoon, after they finished their homework, 3 of the girls joined me. They giggled at my lame attempts at french and repeated anything I said in english, trying to mimic my pronouciation. They were a huge help and we made a lot of progress. As a reward, they each got to pick one item that they liked. I think they all went for shoes. Girls are girls the world around.

Not sure what tomorrow’s plan is. We actually got back to my hotel after dark tonight and I was exhausted, so I just said a quick “merci beaucoup” and then raced to take a shower. I hope I get to go back to the orphanage before I leave Haiti.

Going to dinner in a few minutes. I’m starving and ready to relax. The hotel is not really that far from the orphanage, but it took at least 90 minutes to get here and it was hot, dusty and smoky the whole way. I’m really so grateful to have people who are willing to go through rush hour traffic, fighting mud and potholes to get me around town.

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