Wednesday, August 27, 2008

HFC - Life at the Pension

Here's a little peak at life at the Pension (that's what they call an orphanage in Haiti)...

They have two main buildings. The main building is the school, girls' dorm, and space for another adoption agency. The other building is across the street - it's the boys' dorm, and it's called Woodworth's House (I can't remember who Woodworth was and why they named the house after him...). Here's a view of the boys' house, from the main building. It was laundry day :)

I found this hanging on the wall in the girls' room. It was incredibly humbling to think of how much this passage must mean to the girl who tacked it on her wall, and how much I have to learn about it's meaning...

A regular ritual of braiding each other's hair.

One of the most difficult parts of the trip for me was visiting the babies from the adoption agency. It's comforting to know that almost all of them will get adopted, most by American or European families. But, seeing their life as it is now... was heartbreaking.

These babies sit in their cribs all day. all. day. There's a woman in the corner of the room "watching" them, but mostly sitting around. These kids are sitting in wet diapers, stimulating themselves by banging their heads on the mattress, and some seem to have given up and just lay there. The teenage girls from HFC like to play mommy and come get some of the babies a couple times a day - but they don't take all of them, just the ones they like. I got a few out of their crib and played with them, but I couldn't take them all out, and it killed me. If you're even thinking of adopting a child - please consider adopting a child from Haiti or another 3rd-world country. This is the alternative until a family comes along to care for them...

Some of the toddlers from the same agency. It cracks me up that a 3-year-old is braiding the younger one's hair! Most 3-year-olds can't tie their shoelaces, how are they gonna braid hair?!

This is one of the little ones from the agency. She followed me around all over the Pension. She wouldn't let go of my leg, or stop touching my camera, and was just always there. She's pretty cute, huh? I had to try really hard not to bring her with me...

One of the fabulous cooks at the girls' dorm. I'm not exactly sure what she's making there, but I do know that I had to eat it. If you know me at all - you know I'm very picky. A bowl full of mush is not my idea of dinner. But, it's all they had, and they shared it with me. And I ate it, gratefully.

The view from the dorm. This is practically all these kids see of their community. They live in a really bad neighborhood - very dangerous and violent. They are fiercely protected, and therefore don't get to play out in the streets or spend time with neighbors. But, they are safe...

This is what teenagers look like at Sunday School... a little bored, and trying not to get in trouble for talking :)

Dinner at the boys' dorm

The boys' house-mother

One of the beautiful things about the kids at HFC is that they really are a family. A gigantic family of 60 kids, but a family nonetheless! I love this picture of Wislandy, the youngest girl with her arm around one of her big brothers. It just tells you so much about these kids.

Next up, a look at the school at HFC!


  1. Krista, I was reading this post with such a heartbreak, but the images with the prayer on the wall and with the babies in their cribs...absolutely killed me. Now I'm sitting here sobbing...I admire you for doing what you do, for capturing this unknown for many reality, for going on these missions. You are so strong!!! I am torn apart just by looking at these wonderful images of yours, I would've been a total mess out there. I love these series, can't wait for the next one!

  2. Thanks Anna, for reminding me of exactly why I do this :)