Thursday, January 3, 2008


The boys were ready to go to church around 8:30. Peterson came running to get me so I could say good-bye to all of them before they had to go. I don't remember much, but I remember telling Camille I was sorry I hadn't played with him more, I remember telling Stev and Daniel that I would say hi to their parents for them, I remember telling Reginald he was not allowed to grow another inch, I remember how handsome Miscardet looked in his new blue button down shirt and how he really hugged me back, I remember Jacques acting cool like he didn't care but seeing that something in his eyes that means "I'm going to miss you", and I remember crying when I hugged Drisk. He was the first one to make me cry when I left in September too. I don't know why; maybe it's because he was the first HFC boy that I ever fell in love with or maybe it's because he is just so darn lovable and wonderful all the time. Richecarde closed the gate for me as I walked out and I started crying again, thinking how much I am going to miss seeing that gate open to reveal 30 smiling faces.

I said good-bye to the girls as they lined up to go to church. I cried as I hugged Guerdine good-bye; I wanted to tell her how beautiful she looked, but I couldn't get the words out. I cried over Kattia because I had so little time with her this trip and because I didn't get to hear her sing once. I asked Edline to take care of Nikki and I told all of them to love Bryn. I cried over each of the Boston girls as I hugged them, kissed them and begged them to please come home soon.

Jessica, Stephanie, Nehemie, Beana, Merline Guillaume, Emmanuel, Hermilus, Bernadin, Peterson, and Stev accompanied me to the airport. I held them and fought back the tears the whole way. When we got to the rotary just outside the airport, I prayed silently, "God, let us just drive around this rotary again and again so I don't have to leave." But just like last time, God said, "No, Keziah. Not yet." The taptap pulled into the parking lot and none of us moved. We all just sat, staring at each other, frozen in our seats. Finally, I got up and they followed me down. I hugged each one good-bye and cried over each one. Bernadin and Peterson carried my suitcases across the street for me and I hugged my last good-byes. By now, I was really bawling, and as I advanced slowly in the line, I kept looking back to where Bernadin and Peterson were standing so lonely on the sidewalk, and I would cry even harder. Eventually, they started back across the street, Bernadin walking really slowly like he does when he's very upset. Peterson rejoined the others at the taptap, but Bernadin stood by himself under a tree and I could see that he was crying. I wanted so badly to drop my bags, leap the fence and run over to him, but I knew that it would only prolong the painful good-bye. I got one last glimpse outside before I was prodded into the airport and I saw the taptap driving away. And just like every other time that I have left Haiti, I knew that I was leaving a piece of my heart behind.

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