In Septemeber 2008, I traveled 6000 miles to Haiti's Kenscoff mountains. My mission: to care for some of the orphaned and abandoned, the sick, malnourished and premature infants of this beautiful but beleagured Caribbean nation.

Monday, 3 May 2010

A Special Kind of Hug

As baby Peterson snuggled into me during our church service yesterday, melting, I exhaled. It is a little known secret that despite appearances, I really do enjoy hugs.

Earlier in the week, I had one of my toddler boys in the NICU. He is a great hugger, and I wanted one of his hugs that day. 'Give me a...' I began, hesitating for the word in Kreyol, and although my arms were open, and the invitation was clear, my uncertainty caught the little man off guard. He looked at me quizzically.

'What is the word I need?' I asked the ladies. 'A-k-o-l-a-d,' Mme Bernard replied.
'Akolad?' I was surprised. In English, An accolade is a very formal kind of hug, and I didn't want a formal hug, I wanted a soft, snugly one, or a bear hug,

Vivianne came into the NICU at just that moment. Miming, I asked whether accolade really was the word they used in Kreyol to describe a hug. 'Oh, yes', she told me, with enough warmth in her tone to convince me that an akolad was a hug.

Well, I thought to myself, I suppose an accolade, in English, confers recognition, and if, in Kreyol, there is affection in it, then akolad is a special kind of soul-hug and I did want one. Confidently, I asked my young friend for an akolad. It was warmly given and gladly received.

Yes, I really do enjoy hugs. I don't publicize that too much though. Afterall, I wouldn't want an akolad from just anyone......


nicnacpaddywac said...

Hey Susan
You've really made me smile this morning, and i hope you enjoy many many more akolads from special wee ones! Miss you. x

Brian & Emily Fletcher said...

Susan - I am the mother of Sevil (you may recall one of the oldest children in the Main House with a bright smile and right-side weakness). I didn't find your blog until after the earthquake, but reading it helps keep my heart connected to Haiti when there's so much to do here keeping track of Sevil and his big brother and sister! Sevil is doing fabulously with American physical therapy. Thank you for taking the time to share life at GLA with us.

raoul,janneke en Jonah said...

Hi Susan, can you give me your email adres? I have some questions about medicine....I wil tell you more in my email to you..

greetings Janneke from the Netherlands

Catherine said...

Susan, if you take off the "D" of akolad, what is left ????? akola !!! and what can you write with akola ?... koala ;-)))))))))))) Well, this is perfect for a warm hug !
Catherine.... and Youna... sleeping in her kabane ;-)

Dave said...

I know of one little boy that looks forward to his hugs of you every day.
And he knows you love hugs


Cathy said...

Just stopping by to say Happy Mother's Day to you. You are mother to so many. Thank you for your sacrifice and for your passion in life.