Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Tet Washing Game

Being the Hands & Feet for a Child’s Head

While in Haiti one of the assignments we were given was to help the young boys with the healing of some type of fungal infection that was persistently plaguing the kids. There were various reasons given of why these boys were suffering from this infection and they explained the many ways they tried to get rid of it.

Kelsey (one of the missionaries I got the privilege of living with) and I started the Tet (head) Washing Game on February 13th. The task was daunting! The first step they said, all the children had to get their heads shaved. Shaved, with razor blades not with clippers like in America. There were many cuts and blood and yelling. It was horrible! Kelsey and I felt overwhelmed and didn’t understand this process. It was messy, stressful, and very frustrating. One of the employees at the orphanage was angry feeling threatened by the Americans taking over and wanting his job. The children didn’t want their heads shaved because of the puss filled mounds were going to get cut open and they’d resist and get gashes from the razor blades. It was a scene I wish to never relive. I wished we hadn’t been assigned this task.
Kelsey and I continued the Tet Washing Game day after day for 16 days! (She is still playing)  With time it actually did become a game. Some kids would run to be the first one to get their heads washed and treated some would still cry and had to be dragged to the washing station. We sang kids songs and sometimes we changed the lyrics like “ I have decided to follow Jesus” to “ I am so excited to follow Jesus” during tantrum times.  Sometimes we quietly prayed over their heads, we massaged their heads, tickled their heads and sometimes we’d just shower them too (the case of Schnyder who loves “dlo” water).
Now, the daunting task I wish I was never assigned is the moment of the day I miss most.

Here is a picture of Mark’s head on February 15. This was already better after two treatments.

Here is a picture of Mark’s head on March 1- (17 days of treatment)


I am thankful Kelsey and I stuck it out. Even though we were yelled at (opposed), were hurting to see the pain from their heads and had to touch some of the gruesome gashes we were able to the hands and feet of Jesus for these kids.




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