Every night or day I have listened to inspirational songs. Specifically I have listened to "Go Light Your World" by Chris Rice. The lyrics "take your candle and go light up your world" has been my daily inspiration when coming in contact with the church. But specifically the lyric "cause we are a family whose hearts are blazing, so let's raise our candles and light up the sky" is what I hold deep down when thinking of the children at St. Anne's. As the days went on from our first day, travel day, my energy levels, excitement, happiness, and gratitude grew tremendously. Waking up on day 1 of camp, I felt like Santa had just visited. Butterflies filled my stomach walking into mass and I was more fidgety than the younger children. The unexpected had come as the 5 of us awkwardly sat staring at each other and the kids. Waiting for directions I decided to tickle the few children sitting next to me. Before I knew it, 30 plus children surrounded carol and I as they ran when we tried to catch them. The ice was now broken!
Walking into a classroom, 50 plus young girls and boys stood up and welcomed me. Those moments made my jaw drop as I was filled with just as much energy as them and I was able to communicate to the best of my ability. We have done multiple songs, dance moves, and activities to pull me out of my comfort zone. Without stepping out to do new cultural activities I would not have felt the connections with each and every child. There are many memories and stories I could share and will remember. Most importantly I will always remember and love the reaction of the kids when I turn as they call me "blan". This means white and although it could be offensive to some, this was their way they felt they could call me by name. Yes the language barrier is a difficult aspect of God's work, I still have been able to complete the obstacle given to me. I am going to finish the week out strong by fulfilling our work. We didn't come here to change their ways or tell them the "right way" of doing things, rather to grow in our relationship between the two churches. I am glad to have had the language barrier because it has made me think as them and to be a follower not an instructor. They cannot feel forced to change as they don't understand what we are saying. But I have fulfilled the bits and pieces of deepening our relationship. I have played hand games, tag, jump rope, songs, smiling, and laughing. I have been able to use universal signs to express love to those in Haiti. With the experiences I have encountered I have found the importance and meaning of friendships. I hope to continue to have these amazing moments throughout the week as I grow a new appreciation for everyone here. We are a family and will always stay together no matter the circumstances. We light up each others' worlds.