As we gather with our families and friends to express gratitude for our blessings, a different kind of “thanks” giving emanates from the people of the EcoVillages. This Haitian version of gratitude is directed towards YOU.
They are thankful for your gift of learning. You have helped provide the classroom, the workbook, the teacher and the full belly for this child to learn. And 266 other kids like him. When we visited in October, parents and children asked us to deliver this message to you. “Mesi!”
They are thankful for your gift of community. The school has become the center of community life. People collaborate to raise the food that feeds the kids so they can learn. “Mesi.”
They are thankful for the gift of optimism. For people who are rebuilding their lives from the personal devastation of earthquake, from the uncertainty of endless days in tent cities and from the hungry months of drought in their new homes, optimism is an incredible contrast. Make no mistake. It has been and still is hard, requiring enormous resilience just to keep going. They have done the backbreaking work required to scratch a living from fallow soil. They have had to adapt to living among people who were strangers in the beginning. But now they can see the results. The EcoVillages are lush with growing food. Children play with abandon like children are supposed to play. Parents see the possibility of a more prosperous life where there is something left over after the family has eaten. They are optimistic that they will control their own destiny soon and that their own efforts will sustain their school.
They want you to know how they feel about your support: “Mesi. Mesi anpil.”
On this Thanksgiving as you express your gratitude for the ways others have enriched your life, hear the voices of your unseen friends. You have done a good thing. Let their Mesi brighten your holiday.