Here is Rachel Prusynski's "Godmother Blog" about her godchild and her time in Haiti.
I lost a variety of possessions buried in the rubble of a fallen building, along with my ability to tolerate heights and my best friend in Haiti’s 2010 earthquake. But I gained a passion for an achingly beautiful and painful country and its people, a few Creole phrases, and a new family member in the earthquake’s aftermath. My godson, Kervenson, lost his family in the earthquake when he was 10 years old and was abused in a tent camp before being welcomed to the NPH family.
Kervenson and I first met when I returned to Haiti on the one-year anniversary of the earthquake. I arrived to the orphanage shortly after choosing to be his godmother and before my first letter had reached his home, so my appearance on the peaceful St. Helene campus caused quite the ruckus as 400 children went to hunt down Kervenson and produce him to me. A wide-eyed little boy with tiny legs and knobby knees in a ski cap and oversized sweatshirt shuffled up to me with a shocked expression. He listened as I struggled through my Creole explanation of who I was and why I was showing up at his home to offer him a bag of gifts and company for a few days of walks in the mountains, treats like sodas purchased nearby, and hopeful conversations with whispered hopes from my shy godson and joyful encouragements from his besotted godmother.
I returned again to Haiti a year later and was overjoyed to see how much difference a year of education, the NPH family, and proper nourishment can make! Kervenson had grown inches and was full of the spunk and confidence I would expect from a 12-year-old who is the first in his class at school. No longer as wide eyed, Kervenson laughed instead of whispered and chatted with me as much as my Creole skills would allow. He plucked my heartstrings with the tears he tried to hide both times I arrived, sniffling and smiling and wiping his eyes on his sweatshirt sleeve. Every few hours, he asked, “when are you coming back to Haiti?”
Between my trips, Kervenson and I have gotten to know each other through letters that never cease to lift my spirits as he tells me of summer vacation, his grades in school, and his goals for the future. He posted the pictures I sent him up in his cubby at school and made sure to show me during my latest trip.
Kervenson endured much more than I can comprehend and much more than a young boy should, but like so many of the children in all the NPH homes, he provides an eternal source of hope and inspiration. I can’t truly capture how amazing it feels to be a small part of what he was able to gain after losing so much.