Every time I get to the Haiti airport, at baggage claim area there is the one question I get asked over and over. For some reason they come up to me and ask me directly, “Who is your boss man?” For over 9 years I have been proud to say my Boss Man is Susan Nelson. When we first started going, they didn’t want to believe that the leader of the group was, in fact, one amazing woman.
On our most recent trip, I was asked that question again and I pointed to Susan. He recognized her. “Oh yes, I know her. She is always the Boss.” We smiled and I said yes. Slowly things are changing in Haiti. Progress is being made. The more time I spend there the more I find new depth and character to these amazing people. They have taught me so much and I have grown to see them a different light. They have so much love and outright joy of living, one can’t help but be disarmed and downright enchanted by them. When one considers just how many disasters and external and internal trauma they have endured over their history, it seems that if it wasn’t for bad luck, Haiti would have no luck at all.
Don’t think for a moment that life in Haiti is easy. But somehow, through it all, they endure. Their drive and will to succeed is inspiring to those of us who have had the pleasure of knowing them. Their friendship is genuine, they love us as if we were members of their family. And for those of us us who go, often they are our family. Haiti needs a lot of things in order to help our family succeed, but two things I know they have plenty of are Faith and Love.
You see, the more I am with them, the more I have learned that in Haiti, faith and love are free. But be careful, they are also addicting and contagious. But I can look anyone in the eye and say I am a better man after my time I have spent in Haiti. It has focused me on what is important in my life. Maybe when they continue to ask me who my Boss Man is, it’s their way of asking, “What is important to you?”