A Memorable Day at the BEACH!
May 8th- Beach DayAfter an hour and a half bus ride, seventeen of us ‘Hero Holidayers,’ 50 children, and others who help run the orphanages, arrived at a beach in Haiti. As soon as everyone got on their swimwear, we all headed directly for the water. I think everyone would agree with me when I say that every single child was thrilled to escape their orphanages and the stuffy air of the city and dive into the sea.We all splashed, played, and took pictures in the water for nearly two hours. One boy, (I’m not even going to try and spell his name), was timid when I first approached him, so I picked him up, swung him around,and tickled him. He smiled and giggled continuously. After we played some more, he clung to me for the majority of our time in the water. He was either on my back, hip, shoulders, or holding my hand- and I had no problem with that.The children loved all of the splashing and fooling around that we did but I found that all I had to do to put an honest smile on a child’s face was to them. At one point, I was sitting in the water with two younger girls on my lap, one boy holding my hand, and another girl wrapped around my shoulders. We all sat there for a long time and I hardly spoke. They were content enough as it was. There was no need for high speed boats, sand pails and shovels, or blow-up toys to make their day at the beach a good one.For lunch, the generous ladies who help out at the orphanages had already prepared food for all of the children, and even though we had told them to not worry about making anything for us, we had around ten plates full of delicious food to indulge in. Something I found very special that I had also observed during our project days at the orphanages, is that each child waits until everyone has received their plate of food before he or she begins to eat. Their patience for food is amazing, especially for how non abundant it is.Before coming to Haiti, I guess I just assumed that going to the beach would be a common activity. But because free time is very limited, the nearest sufficient beach is an hour and a half away, and it costs two dollars per person to have access to the beach, going to the sea was extremely exciting for the kids.In a way, I felt guilty about going to the beach when Port-Au-Prince has a such a substantial amount of work that needs to be done. On days like these when nothing is built, delivered, or fixed; I remind myself that today I am building hope, giving my love to children who crave and need it, and hopefully fixing or distracting broken hearts. Today I didn’t build any buildings for shelter, I didn’t deliver food or water to fuel a body, but I did help bring joy to the lives of these children. I know I will never forget today, and I believe the memories we all shared with the kids and the happiness we all felt will stay with them forever.-Kylie, a Hero Holiday participant in Haiti.