Nov 23, 2011 10:43am
Our GFP family is growing — both in Haiti and in the US.

Global Family was excited to bring three new volunteers on our October trip to Haiti. Brad and Mary are both teachers at Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, and Jill is a Phoenix-based commercial photographer.

Our new friends joined some familiar faces — Maria, Karen, Jo, Brit and Lori — on an adventure that carried us from Port au Prince to Les Cayes to Port Salut and to Il a Vache. Our new volunteers got to meet the wonderful Sister Flora and tour her orphanage on the ilsand of Il a Vache. Brad brought toys and clothing for the children. We hope to one day team-up with Sister Flora and support the wonderful work she does with orphans and handicapped children.

When we arrived in Haiti, we heard about two boys — brothers — who were in need of a home. They had been in an orphange in Port au Prince. A former volunteer at the orphanage reached out to us through Facebook and asked if we could help. We met with Cleff and Marc Donald and spent a few days with the boys. They are around 11 or 13 years old. The boys traveled with us to the gorgeous beaches on Il e Vache. They played all day in the sand and surf. It's always rewarding to watch Haitian kids play and just be kids.

After a few days of getting to know each other we brought them to our home to meet our GFP children.

Cleff took easily to the home and his new siblings. He played baseball in the yard with "Mama" Karen and helped the little kids on the play set. Marc Donald struggled with his new surroundings. As a former street kid, he was use to his "freedom" and the rural setting of our home was a challenge for him. At one point we thought he would leave us and head back to Port au Prince. He is still at the home today. He's adjusting and soon will go to school.

Here are some updates from our October trip:

Schneider has started scooting around on his butt, using his legs to propel him forward. He's really fast. We brought him a soccer ball and with the help of Alan holding him up, he kicked at it. Those soccer instincts are alive and well. Brit stayed behind at the orphanage and sends updates about Schneider's therapy. She has been working with him at least 2 hours a day to strengthen his leg muscles. He can now sit and stand with assistance. He's making amazing progress.

Baby Clara is one fast walker. She's hard to keep up with.

Stefania is finally bonding with her baby sister Martine. Both girls were brought to GFP earlier this year by their mother. Martine is a happy baby with the biggest eyes. Stefania is adjusting well. She plays with her new sisters.

Earlier this year GFP volunteer Sophie Webb, 8, raised $2,600 for a brand new playground for the GFP kids. The playground has been put together and the kids spend every waking moment on it. It's wonderful.

The second story of the orphanage is on its way to being completed.

The GFP home has adopted three new dogs — one of which is just a pup. The two older dogs were adopted from Il a Vache. They were emaciated and sick. With the help of a local vet, they've received their shots and are getting nice and chubby. They're kind and affectionate dogs — which can be rare in Haiti. The children take turns walking them.

GFP is hoping to build a relationship with the young man who brought Clef and Marc Donald up from Port au Prince. Kenley is a college student and speaks English very well. He worked as a volunteer with our new friend Morgan, who connected us with the two boys in need. Kenley is interested in working with street kids. We think he would do great with the older children. We're excited to get to know him better.

Brit stayed behind in Haiti. She lives at the orphanage and helps the house mothers. She sends us updates when she can.

We accomplished a lot during our October trip. We're so happy to have new supportive volunteers. This global family just continues to grow.

Please check out our Facebook page to see pictures from our trip.