Haiti // One year later

One year ago today I left the country with four other volunteers from The Nightingale Project, a nonprofit traveling art school, not knowing what to expect in the slightest. No running water or toilets that flushed, electricity maybe 10% of the time if we got lucky, no phones, no air conditioning, no English! We packed headlamps and water filters and malaria pills. What was it going to be LIKE?! We spent 10 hours sleeping in the airport in Miami before flying to, Haiti, where we left our hearts and haven't gotten them back just yet.

I didn't have a nice blog back then, but if I did, I would probably be crying while writing this. We spent time at three homes - Wings of Hope in Fermaithe for disabled children who were orphaned and left to die because their conditions, Trinity House in Jacmel for orphaned boys and young men, and St. Joseph's in Port-au-Prince also for orphaned boys.

We cried a lot that whole trip and after getting back, too. There are not enough words to describe what we experienced, and photographs can show you what we saw, but not how our hearts felt.

I wanted to write this post to share with people who know me now why I'm grateful for so many things in life. That I think about these kids a lot, and hope that the joy that was experienced there made some kind of difference in even just in the days we were there.

With a very full heart, here are some pieces of our journey from the mountains, to the ocean, from our comfort zones of Starbucks lattes and Facebook to a very different place with streets lined with burning rubbish and dumping buckets of water on your head to bathe.

I'm not even gonna go into the video because commence the sob-fest, but if you want to see it, it's here.

Lena Mirisola

Boston, MA 01886, USA