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Unexpected reminder 

I have spent the last couple of days reading and reflecting in paradise. I have been able to workout twice a day, on the beach which has been great! Spending time in a jewel of a place such as this, changes you and definitely brings forward a new perspective on life. This is privilege and I’m greatful to the Tier 3 folks that made this a reality. 

My gym with natural box jumps

Some young boys joined me for my afternoon workout. They had a blast doing box jumps, on the beach where the waves had eroded the sand; with them demonstrating much better technique than me. Even though they had just learned how to do them. I guess they were and I guess that they were between ten and twelve and they didn’t know and didn’t seem to care. Their English was significantly better than my French; in combination with an enormous amount of gestulatimg we were able to communicate. 

I normally finish my afternoon workout with a swim and they shared that they couldn’t swim. I offered to teach them. One of them took me up on my offer and we started off by teaching him to float. When he learned this, his self confidence visibly increased. Sooooo awesome to witness. He demonstrated enormous trust and a hunger for growth & knowledge as I helped him learn swimming basics. He caught on quickly and was able to do a breast stroke / crawl combo in less than an hour. His friend watched us from the shore with interest but was adamant that he was not coming into the water. By now the sun was starting to set and so we got out of the water

I asked them about school and was floored with one of the boy’s response. One of the boys shared that the church bought him shoes, so now he can go to school. The other boy shared, with immense pride, that his mother bought him two pairs of shoes and even gives him extra money for good behavior at school. 

Wow, massive reminder about the self confidence that empowerment provides. I hope he stokes and grows that fire. What they said also really saddened me. Parents were not able to afford to give him basic clothing that would provide him with the groundwork to grow further. That had to be tough on the parents. Lot’s to think about. 

I have mentioned in previous posts how the islanders work together and help each other. I am a passionate person and as people know, I  wear my emotions on my sleeve. At dinner and breakfast this morning, I was asked by the majority of staff members a simple question “you ok?”. Wow, these people have enormous amounts of empathy that extends to tourists too.

This has weighed heavily on my mind and I started a determined search of an NPO that focuses on the island. I found an organization called Friends of Ile a Vache Haiti and have reached out to them to learn more. The folks on this island seem to be forgotten and need some help. I showed the Friends of Ile a Vache website and Facebook pages to some of the locals and they all said they know the locals in the photos and that they were good honest guys. Sounds like these guys are the real thing. 

And for the two folks that txt’d me asking how they can help and anyone else who has the same question, here is the link to my Fuller Housing fundraising page. Please put in the comments to earmark your donation for Haiti. Or support the Friends of Ile a Vache please.  Thanks for making a difference. 

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  1. Cynthia Ramsdell
    February 17th, 2017 at 16:35 | #1

    Oh I just love this so refreshing so beautiful makes me so jealous I want to jump on board your bus!

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