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Back from Haiti - Reflecting on the Experience

Overall, I had a great time at Haiti and it is one of those trips that I will remember forever. Our trip was through an organization called Global Family Philanthropy, and the orphanage we were at was in Les Cayes which is a four hour drive from Port-au-Prince. Our job was to build a chicken coop and we had a great deal of time to play with the kids. Since our group was small, we really had the opportunity to bond with the kids. The kids were always happy to see us and always wanted us to play with them and give them our love and care. They always wanted me to pick them up and hold them, because they loved that feeling to be held and known that someone actually cares for them. Some of the older kids knew that we were not going to be there for long, so by about 3 days prior to leaving, they were sad, because they knew we were leaving soon but didn't know exactly when we were leaving. The last day was the most emotional day of the trip, because that was when almost everyone knew we were leaving. Some starting crying and some were too upset to do anything. They were sad because they knew that they can't receive the love and care that we gave them during the 10 days. It's as if telling them that the love and care that we are giving them is temporary. It's sad because I realized that kids always need unconditional and undivided love and being there for such a short time was telling them that they can't have the unconditional love that a parent can give them. However, my heart is still with them and they were great kids and were always smiling and laughing, which made me smile and laugh as well.

Haiti is a country with great people and the countryside is beautiful, especially the beaches. The only problem is their management. For example, there is an abundance of banana trees, almond trees, and avocado trees, but the people are still starving. There are no garbage cans there so you see piles and piles of trash in the middle of the streets. When you drive from Les Cayes to the capital, it's all the same thing. It's just poor villages after another and garbage and filth everywhere. They have an abundance of resources, but they just have poor management. The reason I am so shocked here in US is because it is so clean compared to Haiti. I dont have to use my hand sanitizer every 5 minutes and can actually walk barefoot in my own room, whereas we couldnt in our hotel room. I am still recuperating because of the culture shock.