I just emailed off my Valentine's Day wishes to the kids via email and photo. Thank you, Bryn!
Last Valentine's Day, I was living at HFC. I spent hours making individual valentines for each of the girls. Exhausting! But well worth it since they were tickled pink to receive a card from me. They kissed me and thanked me over and over again, and several of them sent me little notes to tell me that it was the first time they had ever received a valentine. The younger girls had made valentines in their classes at school, so I was given a whole bunch of those - red hearts with gold glitter outlines, attached to the top of red straws sort of like a flower. I still have several of them.
I didn't have time to make a valentine for each of the boys, so instead I made one big valentine for each of the 4 boys' rooms. I gave them the valentines and some candy that night and they were also very excited. They glued the cards to the walls in their rooms, so needless to say, they're still there. Junior Vandomme gave me my biggest Valentine's Day surprise. He had told me several days prior that his dream was to have someone give him chocolate on Valentine's Day. Unfortunately, I had no chocolate and I didn't have the opportunity to go out and buy some, so I made a note to get him some at the next opportunity. Well, at recess on Valentine's Day, Junior appeared at my door and handed me a chocolate! Lamarre's wife, who owns the candy stand in our courtyard, must have bought chocolate for the big day and Vandomme wanted to give me the best thing he could think of. I was deeply touched. You know, you go to Haiti thinking that you are going to teach the children about love, but they end up teaching you a whole lot more than you could ever teach them!
The weekend following Valentine's Day, I pulled out my secret stash of Sweethearts, those little Necco candy hearts that have messages on them. My wonderful mother had bought 2 bags of them and sent them down when my father visited in early February. I distributed one bag to the girls, translating each heart as I handed them out. Then I went to the boys' house to do the same. I thought that they would poo-poo my girly candy, but instead, every single boy crowded into the living room and fought over those candies. I tried to maintain some control and assure that everyone got an equal share. With some messages, I would hand it to a kid because it seemed to fit him (Mikenlove got several "U R Cool" ones, Miscardet who was always stealing my phone got "Call me", Peterson got "You rock", Jacques got all the "My Hero" ones, and so on). The funniest were the hearts that said "Kiss me." I would yell out "Bay m' yon bo!" and the boys would literally dive at me, kissing my cheek, my arm, my hand, my knee, my foot - whatever they could reach. Whoever got to me first received the candy. It was quite a night. And I am fully prepared to relive it when I get to Haiti in 9 days.