“It takes a village to raise a child”, was one of the first things Teresa said after arriving to our orphanage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. As soon as she got here, she got right to work. It started with painting chairs for the orphans in our yard. In any case , we were surprised, especially because of her young age and her title, which she very quickly showed us she completely deserved. She seemed to not even bat an eyelash at the unpleasant smell of the water, or the very different food that she was now being fed, or even the lack of electricity for most of the days of her visit, not to mention the physical work we were doing in the extreme heat of the day. She won the three of us over immediately, and the kids just the same. Pierre Lyne very quickly decided that she was going to take up all of Teresa’s attention, and the rest of the girls kept coming up to us with the same question, “Who is that new, pretty girl in our house?”
Teresa truly won us over not only with her beauty, but also her intelligence, modesty, compassion for others and when it came down to it… rolling around in the grass with a group of screaming kids. Some things you can’t fake, and she was truly such an honest person, completely herself. With such sincerity in her eyes she really sympathized with the people we were coming across – children, the sick, abandoned, dying – all things she was seeing in the hospitals and along the streets of Port-au-Prince. A week flew by in the blink of an eye, but the friendship that formed into a sisterhood continues on. With promises to continue forward and that our mutual love for our orphans will fuel much further cooperation for the organization, Teresa very emotionally said goodbye to us and the orphans, which to this day still ask us when ‘the pretty and nice Teresa will be back’. Not only will she just be coming back, but with God’s help, she plans to some day adopt some of our orphans and offer them a warm home, so our ties, aside from just the emotional ones, will become unbreakable in more ways than one.
Teresa, we miss you already, and we’re waiting for your return with a new round of chairs to be painted … along with promises of the best Mac & Cheese you’ve ever eaten, and new brainstorming sessions until late hours of the night. Thank you for all you have done for us, and for all that you’ll do in the future. Love, your CroHaitian Team