Laughter from the Bathtub

by Kayla Raymond

Laughter from the Bathtub

My first week in Haiti was nothing short of exhausting, but in a good way obviously. My dad and I arrived safely last week Wednesday, and late Thursday afternoon as I was swimming with Jeffte observing a beautiful rainbow over the moutain horizon, my dad received a phone call. A man he met last month called him saying an orphanage had been shut down way up in the mountains (I keep forgetting the name of the place, sorry!) and they needed a place to put 30+ kids for the night. He yelled this information to me from the porch, and I ran inside, changed out of my swimming suit and off we were. We picked up Esther (lady who runs a local orphanage and who we have become good friends with) and we met the children at another orphanage about 15 minutes away. After a couple hours, my dad, Webert, Esther and I were officially responsible for 21 children (ranging in ages 4-18). There were two very small boys in our group so we decided to take them to our house, due to the fact that Esther was extremely overwhelmed.

Their names are Gitambert and Loveson (I’m also probably not spelling their names correct at all) and their story is heartbreaking. We heard that the orphanage these children came from, babies were being eaten by rats. Yes, rats. A few had pieces of their toes, cheeks and ears missing from rats. I know, it is hard to imagine. How can a loving God like ours let something like that happen to His own children?

So, here I am with two complete strangers sleeping on my bedroom floor and I cry out wondering what these little humans have gone through.I have now tucked them in for five nights and in that short time these little boys have made me fall in love with them. Gitambert is quiet and reserved, but keeps up with Jeffte’s wild side. He loves to share and says “mesi” (thank you) for everything. He is polite and seems very brave. Then there is Loveson, he melted my heart from the first minute I laid my eyes on him. Loveson is loud, funny, but very stubborn. He runs kind of like Simon Birch and his kisses are soft. He has fuzzy hair, a tiny body, and a big smile. He calls me his friend and laughs with joy when I come around the corner.

After medical assessments, Gitambert is very healthy but we found that Loveson has a heart murmur. We don’t know much more about it, but there is a chance he will need heart surgery at some time. I find it hard to believe that he has a bad heart, when I clearly see how much love he has in it.

Last night I gave the two a bath after Jeffte fell asleep. I stood outside the door in awe at how two plastic cups, a bar of soap and a tub of clean water could make them so happy. You could hear their laughter from a mile away as the splashed each other and poured water one their heads. I tucked them into bed afterwards, knowing now my life will never be the same without them. They’ve only been in my life for 5 days, but it seems like a lifetime.

I ask you now just to keep these two little boys and the rest of the children that were rescued in your prayers. We are still not sure what their permanent situation will be at this time, as far as I know I’m a mom of 3 now (and as for Jeffte, he is having some jealousy issues and needs some lessons on how to share, but he likes having new friends around). Keep Esther and her orphanage in your prayers as we continue to figure out what the next step is for all the children.To read Esther’s side of the story, visit the attached URL.

Until then,

much love from Haiti

p.s. I hope to get pictures of them posted soon!