This morning it seemed like everyone woke up a little slower and probably a little more sore from the hard work on Wednesday. After everyone got their breakfast and cup(s) of coffee we were ready to head out for the day. Most were excited to put down the shovel and sanding block and go back to the House of Hope (HOH).
It was great as we returned to see how good the work we finished on Tuesday had turned out after a full day to dry. The paint we have been using is very thin compared to what we are used to so we left a little unsure on Tuesday about how it would turn out even after multiple coats. But we were very happy with the finished job (except for the section or two we realized we forgot to paint...glad we got an extra day...). And it was encouraging to hear the staff tell us how much better and brighter they thought the new paint made the rooms.
Our job today was to continue to paint a bedroom, bathroom, and porch. It was time to get to work as soon as we arrived in order to fit in time for two coats in one day. But as we were working, we got another assignment: hang out with the kids in the afternoon. This made many on our team very excited. We had the opportunity to interact with them some on previous days, but never wanted to get in the way of the classes/schedule during the day. But after lunch half our group continued to finish painting while the rest had a great time with the eleven girls at HOH. One thing is for sure, those girls love to play with cameras, to take pictures and to look at themselves afterward. There were probably 3-4 cameras and a couple of phones that they loved to play with. One girl was going through Ashley's phone and scrolled to a picture of me and her as I walked up, got excited and started pointing at me and the camera back and forth. So for a couple of hours we were able to watch them have their snack (including a really cool time of listening to the girls all bless their snack in Creole), play with cameras, blow bubbles and just hold them and walk around.
At the same time our team was finishing the painting job and working to clean up and make sure we were not making a big mess to leave them with. As we finished up our final work day, everyone reading should be encouraged about how hard this team has worked and how well they have worked together. It was neat to see that everyone certainly had times they were in their "element", whether that was in painting, shoveling, playing with kids or another thing, but no matter what we were doing everyone was working hard.
As we left I think everyone was sad to say goodbye to the HOH, but hopeful to be able to work with them again. They have a great staff who obviously love the girls there and are soon going to be able to expand and increase their capacity. Pray for them as this project continues, for the workers and their challenging job, the girls who live there and for our group as we think about how to partner with them in the future.
It was another great day, but everyone was very excited to see our pool when we got back this afternoon and relax. After dinner we spent time praying together for our church, each other, HOM and Haiti. It was great to hear the students in particular pray for a heart for these people and the nations.
The rest of our night was similar to the others, finish devotion time, play the couch game and learning new card games. Again, this group (students and the adults) take their games serious which makes for an eventful night. But by now I think everyone is talking to each other again, ready for bed and excited to spend the day together tomorrow relaxing and seeing more of Haiti.