Day 3 is complete and it was by far the most visual and influential day since we got here. Sometimes its hard to believe this all has actually happened. The people from Haiti are so desperate for help that no matter where we go, it’s upsetting seeing so many people just begging for anything they can get their hands on.
Our first stop this morning was to deliver a truck of supplies and water to the Jean et Marie orphanage. When we arrived, all the kids were singing a blessing to us. I’ll always remember the one song they were singing, "We’re not crying anymore, its time to go to work." For all the destruction and pain these children have been through, it brought tears to my eyes seeing how energetic and positive they all were.
Our second stop of the day was to L’Athletique d’Haiti, a sports program and training center for youth in Port-au-Prince. We met the Under-19 Soccer World Champions and actually played a short game against them — we lost 2-0! Then it was our turn. My teammates and I had the opportunity to teach the local youth some American football. There’s definitely a difference between their biggest sport and ours, but it was amazing.
On the way to the sports center our van got a flat tire as we traveled through some rural roads. The roads are really bad here — people, trash and foul smells everywhere we go, and most of them are unpaved too. Also, they are so congested because of all the destruction forcing people out into the streets. Having a flat tire allowed us to spend some time with locals and pass out some of our own food and water. They needed it more than us.
After we left the sports complex we took a road tour of Port-au-Prince on our way to the town of Kenscoff. It was a sight you can’t even imagine, just seeing how easily most of the buildings just crumbled from the earthquake. People are everywhere trying to sift through debris and rubble, searching for some form of hope.
At the town of Kenscoff we were greeted with a heroes’ welcome. The entire town of over 5,000 people came to greet us and parade us down the street, singing and dancing in joy for us just coming to visit them. In a town that needed such relief, just us showing up was enough for them to feel the power to believe things will get better. My mom, Dr. Rose Ihedigbo, was tagged as the guest of honor by the village as she was commended for all her educational work. It was a proud and glorious moment!
We don’t really have a schedule for [today], our final day in Haiti, but we’ll keep you updated on what happens. I’m sure we will find some way to help these people. Don’t forget if you want to support the relief effort here in Haiti, visit the Yele Foundation at www.yele.org.
Tags: Haiti, James Ihedigbo
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