I haven’t blogged since Haiti. It was hot as it’s in the Caribbean Sea, no doubt. I think I drank a small swimming pool of bottled water. Being one of the rookies on the trip, it was an emotional experience that I think I am still processing. The others tell me this is quite normal for the first time. It was tough to see the abject poverty there. Small children running around naked, or people wearing cast off clothes and even the t-shirts of teams that didn’t win a championship but they had the shirts made anyway. There was lots of trash everywhere and the roads were hit or miss. The drivers there are all world class as they content with potholes, cycles, and no lines but I never saw an accident once. They love to paint their cars and vans and wash the motorcycles of the dust. And often I saw “thank you Jesus” painted onto the vehicle. Quite moving to see God thanked for so little in their nation contrasted to our where religion of any stripe is often the subject of the last acceptable discrimination.
The orphanage had security guards with shotguns as did the hotel. The kids all dressed up for Church on Sunday and were so happy to see us (even though we are dentists) and one girl gave me such a sweet hug that it almost rivalled that of my daughter’s. Almost. Very close second. They don’t have the things our kids here have and I believe they are happier and more grateful than kids here. Sadly, adoptions in Haiti are quite rare as many of these kids have parents but the kids were left there because the parents could not afford to feed them. Adoption would mean the parent(s) and other family members rejecting them so that another could actually adopt the child.
Coming home was tough. I felt like a prize ratbag for having air conditioning and food in the cupboard and fridge. I walked into my office Tuesday morning and felt happy and guilty I have AC, chairs that move, materials that aren’t close to expiration, a light, both types of suction, an assistant, etc.
Overall, I was happy to go and help what little I could in the time in spite of my emotional roller coaster ride.