This Monday night, we spent the night in the classrooms of the school at Bois Jolie. All of the Sewanee interns laid out our sleeping bags and we had a sleepover – asking each other questions ranging from “when was your first kiss?” to “what do you have a hard time accepting about yourself?” We were all covered in a thin layer of dust (this is the reason that I have the distinct joy of sponge bathing in a Haitian schoolhouse) and our eyes were drifting closed, but we told each other new things about ourselves until we all fell into a (not satisfying, per se) night of rest.
I couldn’t fall asleep at first, the alarm sensor beeping in the courtyard was insistent, as was the mosquito singing in my ear, but as soon as the lights were shut out, three little lightning bugs danced their way across the ceiling. Surrounded (quite closely, I’ll add) by five people who I have only really known for about a week a half, and watching those little lights in the darkness, I felt a sense of wonder and magic settle (like the dust) around me.
We all come from different groups of friends at Sewanee, but in Haiti, we are focused on our work, the projects at hand, and the relationships we are forming with each other. There is nothing like working hard for the same thing that brings people together, and we are just another example of that rule. We are sweaty, dirty, and experiencing new things every day, and every night we come together to reflect, maybe play some cards, and make time for each other. My heart swells to know that the friendships I have formed are already so strong, and that there are many more opportunities for moments such as our sleepover, card games, and conversations after dinner, to happen.