Surf City Haiti - Rodger

As the Creative Director at PKF, I’m constantly tracking and capturing stories from our numerous projects in Haiti. I share this only to say that when I’m in Haiti, I’m usually pretty busy. 

Over the past six years, I’ve been to Haiti 11 or 12 times. Usually with a camera or two or three in hand. I’ve been to almost every Surf City Haiti and have taken thousands of pictures of this country and these friends who I love so much. This year, I transitioned into a position of leadership, helping to plan camp on the front-end and making sure everything goes well while we’re in Haiti. Being one of the people in charge means I technically could excuse myself from writing a blog this week, but here we are.

We just wrapped up day one of camp, and I’m reminded again just how much fun (and work) running a camp for 175+ kids can be. Right after lunch, we had a time of teaching. The older kids went to a seminar about love, sex, dating, and marriage (generously supplied by Silver Ring Thing) while the younger kids went to hear a Bible story and make crafts. 

Some of the leadership team crunching spreadsheets and getting campers organized into teams and groups.

Some of the leadership team crunching spreadsheets and getting campers organized into teams and groups.

My buddy Claude (1st grade), was not having any of it. Always up to something, I watched him find an old piece of rubber and start to furiously whip it over his head. I set my camera down (frustrated that Claude was bucking our well-laid plans), and encouraged him to sit with his group. He ran away, and I ran after him. Finally realizing that Claude wasn’t about to sit through craft time, I scooped him up in my arms and threw him over my shoulder, sack-of-potatoes style, like my dad used to do with me when I was Claude’s age. I spun and jumped and ran, all to Claude’s delight. I’d set him down and he’d ask to be picked up again. I’d cave in and we’d do the whole dance over again. For the grand finale, I spun around faster and longer than we’d ever spun. I finally got so dizzy, that we both sat down on the ground, and laughed full belly laughs. The bell rang, signaling craft time had ended, and we went on with the rest of the day. Claude a little dizzier, no doubt, and me feeling like I’d experienced true child-like joy for the first time in a while. Free of deadlines and to-do lists. Free to smile and love life even when life deals you a pretty rough hand as it did to Claude. And I think that’s a little bit of what this is all about: fun and laughing and dancing and learning and rejoicing and praising our big, awesome, joyful God.