Joy

The most surprising aspect of Haiti is the overwhelming feeling of joy in multiple facets. Although the orphaned children literally have nothing, they nevertheless possess immense amounts of joy. Their faces beam with smiles from cheek to cheek.  Being fed is their first priority, but a close second is just to be held by a stranger, which releases fountains of joy. Moreover, there is an abundance of joy in the guesthouse where we are staying. As cliché as it sounds, the place feels like home with a happiness that is infectious. From the appetizing home cooked food to nightly gatherings where we discuss the day’s events, joy fills the house. Yet, there is another aspect of Haiti that has taken me by surprise, which is the continual exuberance felt in down times. Too often in America, excitement or happiness has to be manufactured in the sense that as Americans we desire electronic entertainment, shopping, or expensive meals to entertain ourselves. We desire manufactured entertainment to compensate for a lack of meaning in everyday life. Yet, today after climbing to a hilltop chapel for morning prayer, stuffing 12 people in the back of a small Toyota truck, playing with orphans, and feeding 130 orphans; the Coreluv team was able to come back to our guesthouse where I experienced some of the most fun I can ever remember. What we did as a group was nothing spectacular, yet we were enjoying ourselves just being together. We sat on the rooftop deck of the guesthouse watching a lightning storm in the distance and cracking jokes. There were no electronics, anything of monetary value, or intoxicating substances; but each one of us was enjoying our moment after a meaningful days work. In the moment of watching lighting in the distance and seeing two friends “plank” on a hammock; I had found what I was looking for. My entire life has been a hurried search for purpose, and in an epiphany I had finally found my illusive purpose. Helping children whether in America or starving Haitians, I realized; the only thing that makes me happy is to help the world’s marginalized.

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