Coordinating the evening meal for 77 people is challenging in the states, but even more so in Haiti. Our team met that challenge last week, bringing another nutritious, balanced meal—full of protein and fresh vegetables—for the permanent residents and staff of St. Vincent’s Center For Handicapped Children in Port-au-Prince.
And what a feast the talented cooks prepared! Riz national (Haiti’s national dish of savory beans and rice), crispy chicken, sos ti malice (a delicious tomato and onion sauce), banan peze (fried plantains) and a medley of root vegetables completed the menu. We were ready to break bread with the kids!
The usual bumps in the road slowed the process to a crawl: our driver got caught up in the airport chaos, a new driver and vehicle had to be secured, and the Port-au-Prince traffic was typical – slow and rough! But our desire to see the folks at St. Vincent’s prevailed and we were soon knocking on the gate.
What fun it was to be mobbed by dozens of beautiful smiling faces. Like much anticipated family members after a long absence, hugs abounded when we stepped inside St. Vincent’s. Deaf children signed greetings; blind kids heard our voices and came to us; children in wheelchairs rolled over for a hug. It was a sight for sure, one that filled us with joy.
Our team prepared the meal while St. Vincent's staff helped secure bowls and spoons. Everyone assembled in one of the classrooms to bless the food and dig in. Our team was both humbled and honored to serve these truly exceptional kids.
We continue to raise funds to restore full meal service to St. Vincent's, where Haiti's social stigma keeps the kids "out of sight, out of mind". Thank you so much for your continued support.
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