Friday, July 27, 2018
Day 5, Backpack Day!
Yesterday we finally gave away the backpacks that families from Rye collected for Gampson’s school children. The storage room at the Midwives for Haiti house that housed our 600 pounds of donatables is finally looking sparse. Over the course of the week, I gave away school supplies and tooth brushes to Mitial, another man with a small orphanage/school. I gave purses to my midwife friends. Magdala’s kids got back packs, dried mango and more duct tape to make flowers and wallets. Backpacks were given for the children of the kitchen staff and the drivers. Special gifts were carried for good friends. Guerlie received a pair of high heels that were miraculously the perfect size. My midwife friend, Esther, got a beautiful beaded bag. Miss Genette received toothbrushes for her nieces and nephews, a small purse, a bag of dried mangos and a Maria-made zipper pouch. Sofia, Viola’s teenage friend who got “kicked out” of the orphanage, received new clothes including underwear, long dresses, a pair of leather sandals, and one mini skirt. We have backpacks full of clothes for Jubelle, another teen, and Mitsushi, the baby of a midwifery student from last year that Viola fell in love with. Magdala received the best of all: a pink bonnet with a flower and ribbon that I had to carry from San Francisco on my head so that it wouldn’t get crushed.
So, yesterday, the boys loaded the 3 big bags of backpacks and tarps onto the three-wheeler. It pulls a covered trailer that can carry 6 people. It’s great for those days when we need to bring larger items that won’t travel well on the back of a motorcycle. The ride in the three-wheeler is our least favorite mode of travel. Everyone here calls it the “washing machine,” such is our rough and tumble ride.
When we arrived at Gampson’s, over 100 children were waiting for us. They were seated in the school benches to overflowing. They sang us songs and welcomed us with in-unison greetings. I was sure that there were more kids than we had backpacks. Gampson said not to worry. We decided to give out toothbrushes once we ran out of backpacks. Viola, Matthew and Daniel organized the backpacks by color and size. Two at a time, kids came in and chose their favorite. They also received 2 pencils and an eraser. It was a pretty smooth operation, and by noon, all the backpacks were handed out. Small victories.