West Tennessee Haiti Partnership

Team Withdrawal

This morning I am back in Memphis, listening to Pandora on my ipad and sipping hot tea while my schnauzer Rosie lies snoring on the couch next to me.  Every few minutes I give her back a good scratch and she stretches in her sleep.  Three open suitcases lie on the floor around me, and I’ve started the first load of laundry.  That’s as far as I’ve been able to get since I woke up 3 hours ago.  I told my husband I’m in “slow-mo”.
Missing my team members.  We spend 7 intense days together, morning, noon and night.  We share coffee in the mornings, granola bars at lunch, spicy Haitian food and Prestige beers in the evenings. We pray together, get on the bus together, load and unload suitcases together.  We introduce each other to the new and old Haitian friends we’ve made,  struggling through french, Kreyol, and sign language.  We worry together about the St Vincents children we see who are sick, and remind each other who to check on next, who needs to go to the pharmacy, who hasnt seen the nurse yet.  At recess we blow bubbles with the children and in the afternoons we work on art projects together, smiling through our tears when the children prsent us proudly with the art pieces they make for us. At night on the roof of the guest house we tell each other stories of the day, stories of our lives.  Singing songs in the muggy night air, learning more about each other in a week than most people know about us at home.  All our imperfections come out in Haiti.  I like to say Haiti brings out the best and the worst in people, and we learn “forbearance against one another”.  We all strive mightily to offer our best selves to the children while dealing with our own personal responses to the incredible contrast between our American lives and what we see around us in Haiti. Sharing heartbreak and joy.

So to John, Hilarie, Sherye, Tess, Alison, Claire, Brittany, Sonya, Dr Sue Trzynka, Chris, Debra, Jody, Daphne, Kristen, and Calley….there is a Haiti sized hole in my heart this AM and you are all there with me.

Susan and Sherye (aka Ethyl and Lucy)

Susan Nelson

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