It seems odd and strange to say but I have become somewhat used to the chaos and direness here in Port-au-Prince. I know what to expect when I come here. I know how bad the situation is and, not to be too cold, but rarely does it become personal or overly emotional anymore. I’ve become accustomed to it.
But yesterday was an exception.
Yesterday shook me.
I felt my father’s history in my journey.
It caught me off-guard. Overwhelmed me.
At times, I broke down.
It was the morning visit to an orphanage. There are a lot of orphanages in Haiti. It’s known as “the land of a million orphans.”
This one was different in that the children are being cared for by a former orphan. In fact, the only way the children could get in to the compound was if they had lost one or both of their parents.
They were being cared for in dorm rooms with the best that could be provided. It wasn’t much.
Made me embarrassed and tearful to think of anytime I ever complained about hotel rooms or ply counts on sheets. More so, in each child’s eyes I could see dad’s. I could see my own kids. And it broke me.
The shining light here is the extraordinary people committing their lives to look after these special children.
The school we visited was like that too. Dedicated teachers working with children in an outdoor classroom.
Makes you think that, hope that there’s a child among them that will some day change this place.
From there I put on a political hat and met with the leader of the Haitian senate. It felt like I was continuing my family’s history and journey but through different eyes, in a much different place. Here, there’s devastation. There’s unforgiving poverty. But I gotta believe there is always, always hope.
I find it back at the hospital.
The team was incredibly busy. Greg Browne saved the life of a woman run over by a car. She lost her leg but will live to be fitted with a prosthesis.
Nurses and ER docs treating multiple injuries from an orphanage that partially collapsed. Thank god the injuries were not fatal. Little victories.
Pediatric nurses continued what seems to be at times an acute care pediatric only hospital. So many sick kids.
Ask me why I keep coming back here and I think about those kids. I see all of the world’s potential in their eyes. I see dad’s journey. I see my journey. Most of all, I see hope.
Tomorrow can be better.
Tomorrow will be better.