All the campers now know our team's names since they've learned to say "my name is" in Haitian Creole, and they are inviting them by name to come hang out in each one's classroom. After During the camp's recess, some little kids followed Ellen around asking her to sing "Let it shine" -- so they were singing that all day.
This morning at Mass, Fr. Wilner prayed for all of the team members, Church of the Nativity, and all Americans for Independence Day. Fr. Wilner also sent me a very nice e-mail praying for us, wishing us the best, and saying that the team would celebrate the holiday with some champagne at lunch... must be nice! On a more serious note, the team was very touched that they would be receiving prayers thanking God for their independence and freedom in a remote village in Haiti.
One custom in Haiti is that all the different ages and classes line up for attendance in the morning (pictured). At the camp, they sing songs together as a group in the morning. Today, all the camp sang Happy Birthday in English, French and Spanish to celebrate Independence Day. Then they all sang "This Little Light of Mine" together -- the clear favorite of all the campers and counselors.
Here's a message from Haiti travel team member Jeanette Coury:
This visit to Labrande has been filled with many contrasts to daily life as I know it in Towson. However, today I realized there are many similarities as well. At Mass this morning, I saw a mother fussing with her daughter's hair. Yesterday we saw some women scurrying to get home before the rain started. One huge difference I have observed is the male involvement in the summer camp's leadership. Here I am in awe of the camp counselors. They are four university students in their early twenties. These men are amazing role models to the children of St. Anne's Church. They teach catechism with such passion and lead songs and dance with no abandon (they do the chicken dance!). I had the opportunity to speak at length with one of the counselors named Roman yesterday who knows a little bit of English. Here's what I took away from that conversation: he loves Jesus, he believes it's his job to spread the Gospel and there's no other place he'd rather be than in the midst of these children witnessing for the Lord. So I traveled to this developing country and learned that I need to work harder on Nativity's Student Impact team (program that gets our students involved in Ministry and Missions) to develop our young boys into men that can measure up to these beautiful, God-loving, Haitian university students.