Thursday - taking kids down to Port of Prince for therapeutic horseback riding. The man who owns the facilities had a spinal injury and was told he would never walk again. After a year of therapeutic riding he could. His business caters to teaching wealthy people to ride and caring for their horse so that he can give his time and resources to kids in need. To top it off - he is from the Dominican Republic. The rivalry between the two countries makes his commitment even more unusual.
Friday - 10 teachers, OTs and PTs from The Cotting School (http://www.cotting.org/), a private day school for kids with challenges outside of Boston, arrived and will be here for a week. They've had a partnership with Wings of Hope for over 5 years. Teachers come to Haiti twice a year to help teach the teachers here, and to bring lots of equipment for the kids. The Haitian teachers go up there once a year to continue their training. I've learned a ton from them and am so glad they came during the beginning of my stay here.
Today - Saturday is pretty unstructured. We spent the day playing, playing and more playing. Most of the kids were brought up to the courtyard level. The wheel chair bound kids that wanted out were placed on mats and could roll around and had access to scooters too. I was a bit concerned at first - 30 odd kids playing soccer, playing basket ball, wandering around in their own world, rolling on mats, racing in new wheel chairs, all in a pretty small space. No need for concern. The kids do a better job looking out for each other than we do!
One week complete. I'm still surprised everyday by the kid's intelligence and humor. Given how much I underestimated them, I've been reflecting a lot on other people I've done the same too, and how often I'm on automatic, following stereotypes without question. What a blessing to be here.
Tomorrow - the volunteers and the Cotting folks are headed to St. Joe's for morning service (I'm so excited to see the friends I made there in April!)