Thursday, April 9, 2015

Reflections from a Visitor

The following reflection was shared with us by a visitor who came to Espwa in March. Her words speak for the more than 250 volunteers who visit Espwa year round, to work and play with the kids, make the Project stronger, and leave with a life-changing experience.

"When most people think of Haiti, they think of the earthquake. They think of destruction, of sadness, of loss, and of extreme poverty. While all of this is still very present in Haiti, I wish to tell you that it does not define Haiti. When I think of Haiti, I too have those thoughts but they come far after my thoughts of Espwa- which, in Haitian Creole, means hope.

During my time in Haiti, I worked at Pwoje Espwa, an orphanage and school that helps almost 1,000 children in Haiti. There, I saw opportunity. I saw children with a passion for learning. When asked the question, 'What do you like to do in your free time?' a young girl responded, 'Think.' And when asked what she thinks about, she answered, 'What I will learn tomorrow.' When I think of Haiti, I think about these children. In them, I see the future of Haiti and it is a hopeful one. They dream without limitations, and love even though they have experiences great loss.

When I think of Haiti, I think of community. I think of acceptance, support, and a willingness to share knowledge. I think of beauty that outshines destruction, and a deep burning joy that cannot be overcome by sadness. Sete yon plezi pou mwen, Pwoje Espwa. Wap tou jou rete nan les prim: It gives me pleasure to have known you, Project Hope. You will always be in my memory."

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