The Strange Coincidence

In 2013, I took my second trip to Haiti. This second trip was a partnership with the Orphan Education Foundation, and as such we spent much more time at the orphanage.

Arriving at the orphanage for our first day of work with the kids, I prepared to get out of the van.

Having been at this orphanage before, I knew what to expect. Of course, I knew it would still be a gut punch of emotions. The ragtag kids of all ages, super excited to see new faces and a break from the normal routine. The poverty. The armed guards. The animals running around. I could see it all in my mind’s eye before I even stepped out.

What greeted me as I stepped out of the van, though, was not a sight I was prepared for.

Every kid I could see was wearing a blue Duke University t-shirt.

Duke University is a private university in Durham, NC, part of the Research Triangle area where I live. I know people who went to Duke. I see blue Duke shirts being worn around all the time. And seeing the kids at an orphanage in Haiti all decked out in these shirts was surreal in the extreme. It was very much an “Is this real life?” moment as my brain tried to process what I was looking at.

I was eventually informed that the kids had received these shirts from a group of Duke students on some sort of international support trip, very similar to the one I was on. It makes a lot of sense, actually, and was a bit heartwarming in a way.

At the time, though, it was a very weird experience and a very unexpected and strange coincidence.

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