Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Serving in Haiti Reflection

Children in Haiti express themselves through drawings.
Photo by Beth Guy
The boys turned to Mike and asked if they could color with me again. I led them over to my house and got out the stencils, crayons, and paper again. The boys really like the stencils because they can ask Mike and I what the objects are in English. Mike and I spend most of our time labeling their various drawings. One boy, McKinley, came over to Mike tonight and asked him to write down certain phrases he wanted to know how to say. Since Mike knows a significant amount of Kreyol and is (obviously) fluent in English he was a good person to ask. Halfway through writing these phrases, though, he turns to me and says, "Beth, if you want to really know what life is like here... you just gotta read the phrases that McKinley wants to know how to say."

At the top of the paper were simple things like "How are you?" and "What is your name?" Halfway down the sheet, though, you see:

My house is blue.

My house fell down.

I live in a tent.

My cousin died.

My aunt died.

My teacher died.

Wow. You know, you're in the midst of playing and laughing with these kids and then moments like this hit you... when you realize that they have seen more in their few years of life than most have in much longer lifetimes. They've had to endure some extreme heartache and hardships. I am awed and inspired by these kids and their ability to find such happiness in the midst of such struggle.

By Beth Guy

Beth Guy has been working with UMCOR staff in Haiti, coordinating United Methodist Volunteers in Mission teams.

Read more about Beth's experiences in Haiti here.