Amazing Kids! Magazine

A Day of Friendship

By Ellie Poindexter

 

The sun coddled the village in its arms as it said its last goodbye to the darkness. Kids awoke from their house, and our team was ready to work. Beads of sweat were dripping down my face, causing my clothes to collect a thick layer of sticky sweat. With a heave, I clutch the damp shovel in my hands and thrust the dirt around the base of the foundation. The bright sun stretched its arms around the entire village, sweltering away every last drop of water, and exhausting my body. In the mists of my heavy breathing, I could hear young Haitian children laughing and playing with each other, watching as we build them a house.

With little to no recourses, money, food, clothing, water or shelter, I watch as the children and families are laughing together, delighted to be in the company of one another. Their smiles stretched from ear to ear, and their glistening pearly white teeth, the color of the brightest cloud in the sky lie perfectly straight in their precious mouth. They seem happier than anyone I see back home – people with more fortune. I catch myself not realizing how fortunate I am, even with all the valuables I possess and resources I’m exposed to. The people here are suffering because they can’t provide food for their families, suffering from dehydration or limited shelter during harsh weather. I, on the other hand, am devastated if my favorite show isn’t recorded, or don’t have Wi-Fi.

While we were in Haiti, we helped finish building and painting the Medical Center. We worked long hours in the building, with no air conditioning, and little breaks. By the end of the day, we were covered from head to toe in pearly white paint as paint fumes swarm the air. Every time I inhaled, my nose would cringe at the scent of fresh paint. Our team and I also started digging a foundation for a house in a neighboring village not far from where our team was staying. We would work brutally long hours under the sun, and persevere through until our goal was accomplished. One of my favorite things we did on this trip was playing soccer with the local Haitian children. Children would gather around from miles away. We would laugh and have fun with each other for hours, despite the language barrier, we shared the love for soccer, laughing, and being with each other.

On one of the last days our team was in Haiti, we traveled to a little tent city called Onaville. While we were there, we played with the kids, colored in coloring books, played a couple soccer games, and hiked up a small mountain that overlooks the entire community. I met a little Haitian girl, who wholeheartedly brought me into her life, and called me her friend. Even with little communication, this little girl and I became best friends. We ran around laughing together, kicking soccer balls and coloring. She grabbed my hand, and we sang our way up the mountain. Our voices sang together like the synchronized chirping of birds on a freshly dewed Sunday morning.

This trip has changed me, and so has meeting this kind-hearted girl. I didn’t even know I had self-confliction until it was standing right in front of me, knocking at the foot of my doorstep. Meeting this little girl and serving in the country of Haiti has impacted my life and changed my perspective of the world immensely. She, and this trip, have taught me to value every new chance I get to meet a new friend, and not to take what you have for granted. The little girl brought me into her life, not even knowing me, and I had cherished every minute I spent with her. Sometimes the littlest things in life, take up the most space in your heart. Never a day has passed where I don’t think about her, or serving in this country, and the valuable life lesson I learned.  Before I went on this trip I didn’t realize how ungrateful I was for the things I have. This mission trip to Haiti was the lenses of life and helped me see reality. It has taught me that you don’t need things to be happy in life, but the only thing that matters is that you have the love for your family, friends and neighbors.

One comment

  1. Claire /

    Such a touching and heartfelt story, Ellie! Your exquisite descriptions and rich, personal accounts make this such a wonderful read! I’m so happy you were able to have an experience like this and share it with your beautiful writing.