Based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Andrew W. McElroy Is a Writer who is Exploring the world through stories and lenses.

Foutbòl - A Haiti Story | Adventure

Foutbòl - A Haiti Story | Adventure

The clinic is hosted in an USAID hospital, which is simply a concrete structure with a variety of rooms, a few offices, and a small pharmacy. In the compound in which the hospital is located is a courtyard with two small buildings to shield patients from the heat as they wait to go through intake. Beside of the main entrance to the hospital is a small courtyard in the blistering sun. Throughout the week this became a play yard for children whose parents were waiting in line and even for a few neighborhood kids. 

Samuel (Left) and Wesanglais (right)

Samuel (Left) and Wesanglais (right)

On the first day of clinic, the child in the stripped shirt, Wesanglais came up to Baylor as he sat at the edge of this play yard. Baylor attempted to talk to him through broken Creole, French, and arm motions. Immediately, Wesanglais found Baylor funny and started belly laughing. When Baylor attempted to teach Wesanglais his name, Wesanglais could only get out "bagel". After several failed attempts of saying Baylor's name, they both decided that "bagel" with a short laugh after was close enough to Baylor. 

On the second day of clinic, Wesanglais came back this time he brought his friend, Samuel, when Baylor and I would take breaks we would come out to the play yard and build small rock towers with these two boys and a friend or two they picked up from the waiting patients. The boys loved making fun of our attempts of Creole words, and we loved making fun of their attempts of English words. It was banter back and forth with exaggerated arm motions and belly laughs. We attempted to play Foutbol with a piece of building material that was laying in the yard, but it was too tough for our soft American feet.

On the third day of clinic, Baylor and I decided to bring a empty coke bottle to play Foutbol with. On our breaks, we played foutbol with Wesanglais and Samuel and which ever friends they scrounged up from the patient lines. In our shouts and hollering, laughing and smiles, we played to our hearts desire. The beaming sun was the only deterrent from playing that entire day. It didn't matter how broken our Creole was or how broken their English was, we spoke with our feet and with the joy of Foutbol. 

 Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

On the fourth day of clinic, we had to run widow house calls, so we left Wesanglais and Samuel with a coke bottle and took our own to use with children on house calls. No matter what hilly neighborhood we found ourselves in, children poured out to come play foutbol with a bunch of "blans" (nickname for white people). On one hill that we were playing on, we had to weight down the bottle with a bunch of rocks to keep it from flying down the hill. Our bloody, soft American feet didn't hurt much because the joy that radiated was stronger than the pain.  

A simple game of foutbol, even without a ball, was enough to connect two worlds that are vastly different. It didn't matter how little we were actually able to communicate through words, because our laughs, smiles, and joy filled the gaps.

In April, I will be partnering with Harvest Field Ministries again. I will be going on one of their quarterly medical mission trips and assisting in clinic. This time I am preparing my heart without the labels that the world has placed on her. As a photographer and blogger, I am focused on sharing her true story. The story that is forgotten time and time again. A story that we all share. The Good News of hope in our darkest hours.

If you would like to learn more about, what Harvest Field and I will be doing click below. If you would like to donate, please follow that link as well and there is a button at the bottom of that page to donate. I am fundraising for the trip and only have $895 dollars left to go. If everyone who read this donated $20, we would meet and surpass our goal. The extra will be donated to Harvest Field for their long-term Medical Fund. Thank you for supporting and following along.

Israel - A Haiti Story | Adventure

Israel - A Haiti Story | Adventure

Stairs | Ted Talk

Stairs | Ted Talk