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Monday, March 21, 2016

Rayjon Awareness Trip to Haiti
March Break 2016

Margaret's Blog- Day 6

Today we started our day with mass at the Missionaries of Charity nutrition centre in Port Au Prince.  The nutrition centre provides daily care to malnourished infants whose mothers either are too young or too poor to properly feed them and nurse them back to health. At the beginning of mass there were many school children in their school uniforms that lead a procession with their palms along the street to the chapel.  Their singing during mass was beautiful.  Somehow, most of us ended up with babies from the nutrition centre to hold during mass.  It was incredibly touching as I walked into the nursery to pick up a baby and saw so many malnourished infants.  I picked up a baby boy that was crying and as soon as I picked him up he stopped and put his head on my shoulder.  We brought the children into church and held them during mass.  Luckily there was another group in the church from the United States that were staying a little longer so we could hand the children over to them after mass. It made leaving them so much easier. 

We then headed to a supermarket in Petionville to buy supplies for lunch.  This was where we realized there are very wealthy people in Haiti as well and we saw some very nice houses on our way to an orphanage near Kenscoff.  None of us were prepared for how large the orphanage was.  It was like a campus with many dormitiories and school buildings.  

There are more than 400 children and all the services are provided with only charitable donations.  Most of the children do have family but the family is too poor or otherwise unable to care for them.  We brought some toys in order to play with the children.  The soccer balls were very popular and it gave the teenagers in the group a chance to interact with Haitian children their own age one on one.  With some broken English and broken French, they were able to communicate fairly well.  It had been an emotional day but that was offset by the cooler air in the mountains.  The view from the orphanage was beautiful and we also stopped at a lookout on our way back down for a group photo.  This part of the country was much greener and very scenic.

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