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BLOG: Mission to build orphanage underway

Life in Haiti under the best of circumstances is challenging.

Power can be erratic, water for showers comes out in drips, and air conditioning barely exists and we are the lucky ones staying inside the guarded walls of the residence Filarose run by the University of Notre Dame.

On Saturday, the 14 people here to help build an orphanage saw what life is like for most Haitians. What we would consider the worst of circumstances: No electricity, no running water, and unbearable heat with often little or unsuitable shelter.

For 46 children in Leogane, Haiti, that is life and without parents. Some were dropped off by parents too poor to care for them. Others lost their parents after the 2010 earthquake.

Still primitive by our standards, the new home will consist of a roof, four walls and a bed for each child.

Right now they share a bed. Toys, as we know them, don't exist. Their school consists of six rickety tables (one for different grades) and a chalkboard.

Their biggest thrill Saturday was looking at our phones, and seeing themselves in the photos we took of them.

Objectivity aside, the children will steal your heart-- well mannered, sweet, and immensely appreciative of any attention you can show them.

Their gift to the group as they left for the day: they sang, showing even in the most dire of circumstances you still find joy and share it.

-Ginny Ryan

 
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