What can I say?
One of the things I like about my job is being removed from what is going on, yet knowing what is out there. When I was in Haiti in 1989, I was in the thick of it. The far away from civilization, thick of it. We assisted with a medical clinic in a remote village. I wonder how that village fared?
I only spent a couple weeks in Haiti in and I have known people since who come and go as short-and-long-term missionaries. But I cannot get the images of those I met out of my mind. Many, many times, yearly, in fact, if not more often, I have thought of returning.
I remember huts on stilts to keep critters out of food supplies, I believe the people slept in them during the wet season. Otherwise, they slept in huts made of clay and palm branches. On dirt floors.
I remember a sea of black faces.
I remember pre-washing all our food in bleach water. Even fresh-picked stuff.
I remember puking my guts out because I ate something that wasn't sterilized.
I remember a very rainy day, working kitchen duty that day. Man how it rained.
I remember assisting the dentist. Pulling teeth. Lots of teeth. "Pull them all, they hurt too much" they would tell us. It was easier to be without teeth than to deal with the decay.
I remember assisting the doctors. We gave out more aspirin and advice on how to carry a jug of water or a basket of laundry to help them with back pain than anything else.
I remember the orphanage. The small kids in cribs. I remember being startled by the number of kids at the orphanage. The number of staff, and yet there were still kids in tears. There was a body of water nearby. Lake? Pond? Stream? I don't remember, but that is where they washed clothes and played.
There were a lot of things that happened that were ... well, it was like parables and stories from the Bible came to life right before my eyes. Not that I need proof to believe, but those images have stayed etched in my mind. It was the beatitudes (blessed are the ...) in real life. There was a group (family or friends I don't know) who carried a very sick person in on a blanket to get medical attention. There were people helped, there was death. An infection, easily cured by antibiotics in the US took the life of a young pregnant woman (Annette) and her unborn child. What a night that was.
I don't know, I am moved to tears over and over by the news of the devastation in Haiti. It touches a spot that is so tender, sometimes so fresh for me inside.
I started this a couple days ago. Tonight I am sitting watching Help For Haiti Now. It is a marvelous thing that well-known's will come together to support what I believe to be a worthy cause. Beautiful.
"He is in very serious condition and ... we don't even know his name."
1-877-99-Haiti (2484) Hopeforhaitinow.org