Happy to return home to the arms of our families and loved ones last night. Retrieving jars of picliz from various suitcases to take home for me and John Mutin. Unfortunately, as my husband observed, picliz “does not travel well”. The smell of vinegar and pepper wafted through the Memphis airport baggage area. My apologies to Edie, whose suitcase contents appeared to be soaked in picliz. I am not sure her family will appreciate that smell on every item she brought back from Haiti!
This morning my thoughts are of the contrasts facing us as we wake up in Memphis (or Sienna in New Orleans). The glory of a hot shower. The shock of a cold floor on bare feet. Morning without bug spray. Morning without fresh sweet mango and Haitian coffee. Brushing my teeth in tap water. Wanting to turn on the heater in my bathroom. Driving on wide open streets with traffic lights and marked lanes. Missing the smiles and hugs of the children at St Vincents.
To my team members if you are reading this, thank you all for your warm hearts and hard working hands (and feet!) this week. I miss Bailey’s laugh and James’ quiet smile. I told you all that re-entry would be difficult, and I hope you find a way to process your experience somehow over the next few weeks. Know that you have made friends with special children in a place that will always welcome you back.