Laughter: a Universal Language
By Stephanie Mutert, GO Project Trip Leader
A cloud of laughter is contagious around us at Biggarouse as we giggle our way around the village compound that holds the school, church, and children’s homes. I lean over to tease one of the smaller guys I started calling ‘ti komik,’ or ‘little comedian’ in Creole, because he will do absolutely anything for a laugh. He was sporting a Spiderman t-shirt, is incredibly ornery and full of personality, and since I am addicted to laughter, we were fast friends.
Sometimes stepping into the world that exists within walls in Haiti, you never know how the kids will react to you. Especially at the GO Project partners around Cayes, they don’t get visitors from the States very often, so the kids are a bit unsure of what our visit will look like in their home. There is that insecure part of me that automatically says, ‘No one will want to hang out with you,’ then there is the relational side that helps me immediately relate to various kids around me. These are completely normal reactions, among a million others, when you have committed to hanging out with kids being cared for by one of our partners.
A unifier I have found is that all kids, plus most adults, enjoy laughter, and ‘ti komik’ quickly took it upon himself to make sure I felt welcome in his home. This dancin’ fool jabbered Creole at me, thinking I understood all Creole, pulled me around his home to see his favorite things and would yell at me, ‘Èstefanie, photo! Photo!’ Which was always followed by a hilarious combination of dancing and running to me wanting to see himself on the small screen.
Joy is contagious. Hope is contagious. Kids are kids.