I went to Haiti with no apprehension or fear, but just knew I was to go and really had no idea why. Then the finances worked out so that I could deal with my out of pocket expenses. When I got there I realized that I had a real experience ahead of me and that was just because of the ride from the airport to where we stayed.
Coming into Port au Prince the day before a national election also created enlightenment. Because of incidences in years past Haitians did not move around. Everything was closed and the streets were basically clear. Commercial vehicles could not move around but some did just because they needed the money. Monday brought a whole new dimension to the awareness of life in Haiti.
Traffic is horrendous and they have no apparent driving rules like lanes, direction, weaving in and out, horn honking, turning procedures, motorcycle weaving, or load restrictions, etc. Pedestrians cross and weave in and out of traffic and cross wherever they decide to cross the road. They do have a solution to overcome the chaos hand that is who can weld on the biggest, strongest bumper or knee pads etc for the driver of the motorcycle but not the two passengers. White knuckling it with 12 to 13 folks in a small pickup truck for two hours definitely gives you an idea of the stamina of who you’re with and a clear view of the streets of Haiti.
Arriving at St. Vincents orphanage changed my entire outlook and emotions. What a welcome of love, smiling faces, souls just out there with no apparent feelings of disabilities about their bodies. Blind, no arms or no arms or legs, deaf, deaf with other disabilities. They knew nothing else to do but ignore the disabilities and learn to do whatever they wanted to. The young girl that interpreted for the pharmacy where I mostly worked had no hands but spoke beautiful English and wrote beautifully with her foot. She even signed to the deaf with her feet. Work with what you have with joy seems to be the answer at St. Vincents. Experience no shame and be proud of who you are. What a lesson for our team.
I can honestly say I received more love than I put out. No matter how I tried putting out more the person or the situation gave me back more love than I could give.
How can you leave such a place so devastated, so primitive, so chaotic, and experience the strong knowing that God is good?
When we landed at the Miami airport as an exhausted team. A wonderful group of souls themselves, I knew I needed to be alone to process all this. Not just the experience of the place but the experience of all the amazing souls in Haiti and on the team. At this moment arriving in Haiti I knew my God like I had never known him before. God does speak!