Close your eyes for a second and put yourself in Kenscoff at Kay St. Helene. For many of you, you’ve never been before but imagine you are driving into the NPH property, tons of trees surrounding you, you pass the school, you see children every where and the car parks at Kay Christine, the special needs house. The air is crisp, you’re relaxed and very happy to be there and then, before your feet even hit the pavement, you are bear hugged by Eva!…and it is the most genuine, caring and lovable hug you’ve ever received.
Another day I will continue to explain the amazingness that is Kay Christine, because it is actually one of the most wonderful places I’ve ever been, if you couldn’t already see that from past posts. It starts with Eva’s hugs and then the love continues from there. It is a family, the best kind of families and Gena should be so proud for everything she has accomplished and how she has raised her family with pure unconditional love and for them to be the best people they can be!
But, today is about Eva. And Eva is fabulous.
Eva has been with NPH since before I was born. I’m not kidding. This woman had a rough upbringing, we assume, but really we don’t know much about her before NPH. Long story short, a woman found her wandering in the city and knew about NPH and brought to us and the rest is history. Eva is about 35 years old and she only becomes more incredible with age. She lives in Kay Christine and has for the majority of her life. She is the queen of the house.
Other than her hugs, which, I must warn you, can take the breath right out of you if she squeezes with all her strength, Eva is truly a caring person and loves to love. When I met Eva on my first trip to Haiti I was taken back by one of her famous hugs but from that moment on, I knew I had just met someone extremely special in my life. She makes you feel like the most important person in the world! How many people can do that? Honestly.
Over the years Eva has become very delicate about her appearance, especially her clothes and accessories and she is always dresses to impress. However, sometimes, on the rare occasion, she wants to put her nightdress on at noon. Nothing wrong with that.
Eva also goes nowhere without her handbag. Whether she is working on making peanut butter, watching a movie, getting her hair done, eating lunch, you name is, chances are the handbag is being held tightly. I’m sure you’re wondering, what does Eva keep in her handbag? Better question: what DOESN’T Eva keep in her handbag? I’ve ventured this before and the times Eva has allowed me to look inside you’ll find hair accessories, sweets, gloves, a hat, and sometimes on the rare occasion you’ll find her nightdress in there too! Always a surprise and always a joy.
Yesterday I had the absolute honor to sit and work with Eva for a little. We were cracking peanuts for peanut butter and every few minutes she would turn to me, say “madam”, pat my leg and just see if I was okay. She would then continue with her work until the next check in. Later on in the afternoon she fell asleep on my shoulder while I was waiting for someone. Hard days work and she deserved a little nap for sure.
I really could go on and on about Miss Eva and let’s be real, I could write on and on about all of the Kay Christine family! I hope you get the chance to meet Eva one day, experience her hugs and her loving demeanor. Watch out though, it could change your life or just take the wind out of you.
*Name changed to protect privacy.
Contributed by Avriel Burlot
Communication Specialist, NPH Haiti