Today was another tough, but awesome day in Petite Anse. We started off by spending some time again at the orphanage with the children. The kids are so amazing and all they really ask for is your love and attention which we were more than honoured to give. 

Once we got a few last hugs, a bunch of us set off to help out with the kitchen at Madame and Pastor Dugue’s house. We took off our loving hats and switched them for hard hats as we spent the next few hours working in the 35 degree blazing sun. We spent most off that time hauling dirt, sand and cement. We couldn’t seem to replenish the water we were losing fast enough but with some solid team work we began to see some progress. As hard as we worked, none of our efforts could measure up to what was about to come next. 

Dr. Manno, being the gracious and respected leader that he is, spoke with some young children about what we were trying to accomplish and explained what the kitchen would be used for. Before we knew it, while taking a short water break, we began to watch in amazement as over a dozen kids piled into the backyard with buckets filled with dirt and rocks. I have never seen children work so hard in my entire life. They marched in and out, time and time again with buckets on their heads or shoulders filled with heavy materials. When the loads were too heavy they joined forces and helped each other carry the load.

We continued to work side by side with them for the rest of our afternoon. To say my heart filled with awe, admiration, love and joy for these children would be an understatement. They were incredibly inspiring, refusing to stop even while we were forced to, desperate to replenish fuels. 

It was evident in their smiles and spirits that we had given them a sense of pride and purpose as they were so happy to be able to contribute to a project that will help benefit their community. 

As we embarked on our short walk back to the orphanage we made our final round of hugs, goodbyes and thank you’s knowing that what we did for them may last for a little while but what they did for us will last an eternity. I like to think that we left Petite Anse with a heart that was slightly broken, but full of love and admiration.

-Gio

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