I have been to Haiti twice assisting my parents and younger sister, helping out wherever I could.
I mostly played soccer and basketball with the kids and dished out a lot of hugs. The adult volunteers are amazing people but there aren’t enough adults to kid’s proportion for them to get the attention and love they need. Father Rick and his team are amazing people and helping them with time, materials and MONEY is something you can do and rest assured the donation goes those who need it.
I worked in the adult hospital with my father and we removed a great deal of fluid from a grateful man. Who had a VERY LARGE growth in his stomach. We inadvertently pushed one round of fluid back into him and he quickly corrected us and tried to smile. Here was a 50-year-old man (guess on the age) who has been dealt the cruelest of hands and he thinks to comfort two under qualified but well-intentioned aid workers. Think about that……
Another memory is meeting Markesan (SP?) at the top floor of the children’s hospital near our hotel. He was a young man, maybe 13…he had a condition that made his head and part of his face constantly wrapped in bandages. With the voodoo culture present in his country he was something of an outcast and some feared to approach him. Someone forgot to tell Markesan. It didn’t dampen his spirit or energy one bit. He brightened up every room he went in and put people at ease with his smile and laugh. We read books in Creole and sang and just hung out. (he knew more English than I knew Creole!) He made a kite of a plastic bag and a stick that he proudly showed me. When I left for the night we rose and I hugged him. He couldn’t see me but a tear of mine hit his arm. He consoled me by rubbing my back as I cried into his arms. Think about that…
Whether it is Father Rick & NPH or Help Haiti, these are worthy charities doing things the right way and connecting the donations to the needy. The goal must be for the Haitians to be self-sufficient and lead their beautiful country out of the mess they didn’t cause nor deserve. Sending in white saviors will ultimately only hurt the situation in the long run.
The Haitians are a symbol of strength and faith and resiliency. ..they love to sing and dance and give praise to God....pretty amazing people to me with all they have endured.
I am proud to have served and am overdue for a visit.