I’ve come with a team of all veterans but one. Can we even call the newbie a rookie? She was born in Haiti. Still, she utters something about questioning the sanity of the return visitors as Elade traverses the bumpy, bumpy mountains. The trip that challenges our backs, our eyes, our constitutions, our hearts, and yes, even our sanity.
At long last, Elade says “we’re home”. And we are. And we exhale. The new dorm is huge…a palace with two toilets! The history of Haiti toileting has been abysmal. Until you’ve tried to go with cockroaches and tarantulas, you really can’t understand or appreciate the magnitude of a toilet. The dorm also has plenty of room for all of us, and a dry place to sleep. We arrive happily exhausted, and I proceed to sleep twelve hours.
Our team, like all teams, come from different walks of life. I feel like everyone on my team was placed at this place and time by God, and I can’t wait to find out why. All of us have college degrees any American would be proud of, but the only thing we all seem to boast about is the number of times we’ve all made the trip. We have three doctors, a CRNA, a mental health worker, a sonographer, and four nurses. Ten people with big dreams. To put it mildly, we’re awesome.
My first trek to Haiti was in 2007. I came from a place of nurturing. Haiti, I decided, was my baby. I wanted to cradle each Haitian in my arms, shush her and tell her everything was going to be ok and that I’ll love her forever. It’s 2012. By my perspective from when I found her, Haiti has reached its toddler years. She is walking, forward even. She is struggling to find a new identity not as victim, but survivor. She is growing every day, but still needs guidance. Most changes can be measured in drops, not waterfalls. But enough drops will change the flow of a river. This is proven in Zorangé. And alas, Haiti is not a baby or a toddler. It is a country of individual humans. A husband sneaking a kiss from his bride. A baby sister pulling her older sister’s hair and waiting excitedly for a reaction. It is sweat wiped off a brow after a hard day’s work. A baby fighting to fall asleep in her mother’s arms.
I am so very proud to be a part of watching these brothers and sisters and mothers receive a higher quality of life through medicine, education, and finding a walk with God. If my team and I can help one person in one way this week, the psychotic trek here will be all worth it, and we know we will have put in ten more drops.