before i left for haiti, i had a sense that this trip would forever change me – yet, selfishly i thought i was going to be able to make some incredible impact on the children that i met. if i am honest, i foresaw elaborate art projects, i thought i would photograph and come home with some beautiful photographs. selfishly i thought i was in control of the outcome.
man i was so wrong
the first day i met a little girl, a spitfire – farajina… she was not like the others, she stood out and challenged…she was stubborn and well…a little like myself. she called me out on my nail bitting, she told me how much she loved me, asked me if i was her mom +why i had to leave.
farajina squealed “jessseeeeka”, told me she didnt like the painting because she wanted butterflies when i drew hearts, she has the most incredible giggle…she is confident yet still in need, she is guarded but all mushy at the core…
i saw her for her, she saw me for me… she connected me back to myself, forced me to be honest and all in.
she broke me down day after day, she showed me so much love. she showed me how selfless i had to be, to let go of my own pride, agenda, and just be.
i put down my camera
all i had to be was present and the rest would come …
the laughter and the humor
time slowing down so the connections could be made
the joyful smiles despite hungry bellies and dirty feet..their hearts were fed.
trust despite the places they have seen…they had faith + hope.
peace and gratitude
laughter, oh the laughter it continues to pierce and light up my heart
on the left – day 1: that stubborn little girl with all her guards up…and on the right – day 7: unguarded showing me her whole heart
and for this little girl i am so very thankful – and for this little girl, i will continue to break down the walls and share our story.
there are so many stories, there is a lot ahead that we will be sharing about the future of Passion Projects + our continued love and commitment to child hope international over the next few weeks.
so i will share more, piece by piece..day by day.
thank you to hannah drogosz, jane ammon, jeremy kester, and dave grube for capturing our connection.
and this video footage from melanie…just makes my heart explode