Sunday, January 05, 2014

Haiti day 1

It snowed. And it snowed some more. So much so that what should have been an 8 hour trip from Phoenix to the Dominican Republic took 40 hours. The team of 27 got scattered in several different directions. Atalanta, Dulles, JFK and Miami. And when everyone finally arrived, it was off for a 3 hour drive to the border to cross into Haiti. Not so easy though. 2 hours to negotiate the 2 countries protocols and paperwork. We made it threw and off to our first project and clinic. The team fell together, each member knowing where to go and what to do and we saw a bunch of children in the 2 hours we had left in the day before night settled on us and got our feet wet for the rest of the week. Well done team!

So you ask, what story do I have to tell? What struck me on this first day? What expectations were met and which ones were not? Well, the story is a familiar one. An 8 year old girl who is the size off  5 year old. Stunted. I was struck by the persistence of a country still torn from decades of unrest, an epidemic cholera still on the edge of reappearing, and a broken structure literally from an earthquake just a few years ago. As for expectations, there were none. I've learned not to have any. It is what it is in countries that are underprivileged and impoverished. There can't be expectations. One needs to feel the reality and know that despite any expectations one would have, the results are dictated by those who live it.

I look for no rewards in what I do. No pats on the back. Making a child healthier, getting a smile and knowing that their chance for living a life with potential for doing great things is enough I suppose. And to some that may be reward enough. But think about it. If those are the rewards and if those are the expectations, how do you deal with the remorse you'd feel if you don't meet those expectations? If the child can't be cured, won't live a life that is long and fruitful and lives an abbreviated time on this earth? So for me it's doing the best with what I have in where I am and praying for the best. Because after all, who's in control? You know who.

In all things give thanks.