by Kayla Raymond
I finally feel like I’m falling into a routine here in Haiti. I’m awaken by Loveson every morning. It usually consists of him yelling out “Kayla peepee kenbe” (Kayla, I have to pee!) or him just hitting my feet dangling off the bed. After we use the restroom, the boys are yelling out they’re hungry and we eat “pen avek manba” (bread with peanut butter) every morning. After I bathe them, we are running out the door trying to make it to work on time. I drop the two boys off at Tytoo and Jeffte goes to school with papa.
I finally take my first deep breath as I open the doors to the ViBella center. I’m always welcomed with big smiles and “bon jour’s” (good mornings) from all the ladies. Vivian, Yolande, Leszneska, Judeline, Joanne and I spend our days making beautiful things. They are all beautiful women, with unique personalities all of their own.
I’m starting to see their strengths, their weaknesses. Who is loud and who is quiet. Most of the time I zone out because I can’t understand what they are saying. If I want to understand, I have to focus a lot and they know to speak slowly to me. I’ve asked them to be gracious to me in my Creole and to also become my teachers, but I know they get frustrated at times.
We start our mornings with a song of praise and a prayer. We form a circle, pray hand-in-hand, and I know they are truly sisters of mine. In the moments of silence, I watch their hands busy at work. They are focused and are working very hard. They are getting paid $6.50 a day and are very proud of their work. They want to be the best they can be. They want to provide for their children. I want them to know I’m proud of them.
I watch their hands busy at work. Stringing beads, coloring plastic, clamping chains. They are artists. Our workplace is filled in the background with the sounds of the village. Children playing, women singing while doing laundry, motorcycles cruising by. I feel Haitian, I feel a part of their lives and of the village, and I love working side-by-side with them.
I watch their hands busy at work and I pray for them. I pray they will have enough food to feed their children. I pray they stay safe at night. I pray they stay healthy. I pray that they are blessed by their job. I pray they know Jesus and are obedient to Him.
I watch their hands busy at work and I’m interrupted by Vivan telling she is finished and holds up a necklace that is just as beautiful as she is. She smiles behind the necklace she is holding.
We end our day in prayer. Holding hands once again and forming a circle. I say “pase bon nwt” (have a good night) and I lock up the doors after another day. I’m greeted by my village kids at the bottom of the stairs, who are fast to hug and jump all over me. I’m home by 5:00 or so. Feed, bathe and put my babies to sleep and thank God for another day serving Him.
I thank Him for keeping my hands busy, for blessing me every day and for allowing me to be His hands and feet in a place that needs to know His grace and love.
ViBella is transforming lives and I’m so proud to be a part it. To buy jewelry made the ladies I work with and other ladies in haiti, go to www.vibellajewelry.com