Thursday, March 31, 2011

when i get older, i will be stronger

It was Tuesday morning, we were three days into our trip to Haiti, and it was a mild 90 degrees by 8:30am. Our task set before us that morning was hauling rubble from a crumbled home to the side of the street. Six months earlier the earthquake had turned the two story home with several families living in it, into a one story pile of rubble, and by the grace of God all 14 family members safely escaped the falling home before it was too late. 

No bulldozers, no heavy machinery, just rock by rock, bucket by bucket we walked to the side of the street for a dump truck to haul away the rubble. While we worked tirelessly for a few hours hauling rubble, a group of local Haitians worked along side us. Men, women and little children pitched in to clear away the home in hopes of rebuilding. It was a Tuesday morning and Benson, our new found friend, all of maybe 8 years old filled his coffee tin with rocks from the home and walked it to the street.  His face held a deeper understanding of life and pain than any 8 year old should ever have to know. Benson seemed to time his trips to the street perfectly to Dan's walk back. See, Dan was hauling rubble with a wheel-barrow, and Benson liked to hop in and catch a free ride back.  
Haitians speak Creole, similar to French, which helped me none. There was a distinct language barrier between us and the people of Haiti while we worked, yet there was one song that every child knew and sang that we understood. 

We heard it blaring on the radio as we walked back and forth from the crumbled home to the street. 

Dan would start signing to Benson and he would finish the song while sitting in the wheel-barrow.

As I walked past of group of children playing outside their tent, I heard their sweet little voices, "when i get older, i will be stronger"....and somehow I knew these lyrics had a deeper meaning to these children than just a song. 
Give me freedom
Give me fire
Give me reason
Take me higher
See the champions
Take the field now
You're the fighters
Make us feel proud

When I get older
I will be stronger
They'll call me freedom
Just like the wavin' flag
So wave your flag
Now wave your flag...

In the streets
are exalifting
as we lose our inhibitions
celebration is around us
every nation all around us

Singing forever young,
singing songs underneath the sun
let's rejoice to the beautiful game
and together at the end of day

When I get older
I will be stronger
they'll call me freedom
just like a wavin flag
So wave your flag
Now wave your flag...

Waving Flag by K'naan
2010 FIFA World Cup

That afternoon after removing rubble, we had some downtime before dinner and there there just so happened to be a World Cup game on tv. While the Haitian women worked on laundry by hand, the men took a break from work and watched the Game. The Haitians cheering for Brazil, Dan cheering for Holland. 

And there they were, pouring rain, covered by tarps...huddled around a tiny little tv...

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