Each day, we got to choose which project we wanted to do that day. The choices were: work in the Cretch, lead a VBS in the village, do a community immersion project (such as helping villagers do laundry, or pick coffee beans to roast, etc.), go to another orphanage, or help build a home. Monday, I signed up to work in the Cretch.
There were a few little girls that I stuck with most of the week. My first buddy of the day was a sweet and shy little girl. I never could get anyone to tell me what her name was, but after getting home and looking through my pictures from my first year, I think it might be Nashme. Not sure about that, but they had similar smiles. Though I’m nowhere near a professional and am just guessing based on other kids I know, I have a feeling this girl has a developmental delay of some sort. She was completely nonverbal until the last day I was with her (when she sort of counted “one and two” with me), didn’t make much eye contact at all, didn’t interact with the other kids much, and did a lot of non-stop self-soothing things, like sucking on her fingers. It took her a few days to warm up to me and interact with me, other than being held and talked to. I discovered that she loved to be tickled when she would place my hands in her armpits and her neck, so I would tickle them. She’s so precious. This photo shows her sucking her fingers and covering it up. She would put two fingers in her mouth and cover it with her other hand. Sweet thing was afraid of getting in trouble, I think.
That’s her on the left. The girl on the right was quite the spit-fire.
After we fed the baby girls, I went upstairs to the toddler boys’ room for while, until I got covered in some projectile vomit from the baby I was feeding. Then we decided it was time to break for lunch (and change clothes, of course). Before I got a vomit bath, I let the little guys play with my hair for a while. They loved every second of that. I’d like to note that this picture shows 8 toddler boys playing with my hair at once. There should be an award for allowing that. It was such a blast making them laugh though.
After lunch, we went back down to the baby girls’ room. One beautiful baby girl wasn’t feeling well. She was running a fever and coughing up a lot of junk. She sat upright and rocked herself back and forth most of the morning. When I finally had free hands to pick her up, she fell right to sleep and slept the rest of the time I was down at the Cretch.
I could not get over how beautiful she was. She passed her cold or whatever bug she had to me, unfortunately, but it was worth it to spend some time letting her sleep on me. Seriously though, she’s the most beautiful baby ever, I think. Eyelashes for days.
They took her to the doctor on Tuesday and she wasn’t back for the rest of the week. Hoping she was getting some great rest while she was away.
This is Christie. She has the softest hair on the planet. She was one of the smallest babies at the Cretch.
And the other girl I spent a lot of time with was Loudjina. She was so expressive and funny. She would make faces until you laughed, and then start laughing along with you. Her favorite face was to pouch out her lips. She was such a blast. Here are a few of the many faces of Loudjina.
Spending the day in the Cretch was such fun. Being surrounded by kids is something I absolutely love. But when those kids are Haitian, my spirit is overflowing. I got to spend time feeding them, comforting them, and playing with them. It was one of the best days of the trip this year. I’d do this for the rest of my life in a heartbeat.
Here’s a quick little video of my day at The Cretch.