11 February 2011
Haiti February 2011: Day 7
The OnCall team was joined by a medical team from Boston at a new location that was at an abandoned house that had an empty swimming pool. The once glamorous, empty, deserted pool with three boys playing in it looked bizarrely out-of-place next to the depressing tents.
The OnCall Team went to see the six metal houses that the BrickThink team built this week. The families were so thrilled to be in their new homes. On the drive home, I noticed men swinging electric wire lines from the poles along the road like they were playing jump rope. I asked what they were doing as it looked dangerous and evidently the people piggy back electricity off of the main line and if the government sees six or so stints into the main line they pull them out. The men were trying to reconnect them so that they would have electricity in their tents that night. Their life almost seems like more primitive times when people spent the whole day hunting for an animal so their family would have something to eat that night.
Today was our last day on the field in Haiti before we leave tomorrow to go back to New York where there will be no more clorox bucket baths, sanitizing gels, Tent City odors, thick dust or rubbled war-torned roads and there will be 24/7 electricity, hot water, air conditioning, phones, traffic lights, stores, washers and dryers and more. Yes, those conveniences are great, however, I will be bringing back with me to New York a perspective that New York does not quite offer to me: What it is like to be a part of a team of people in closed quarters in challenging circumstances to help desperate people in areas where most of us have no specific expertise. One of life’s greatest edifications is to be tested where you are with people: do you really care about people; how much of yourself are you really willing to sacrifice. You are faced with yourself and your lifestyle compared to not just poverty, but poverty under a war-zone lifestyle – to check your own heart on all levels. I find being humbled is one of God’s best ways of enriching our spirits and moving us forward.
I speak on behalf of the whole team to say that we have been humbled by the Haitian people and their living conditions; and by the people who make the sacrifice to live here to help them. We came to Haiti to bless the people and we are leaving the ones who are blessed. This is an experience that we will carry with us that will continue to resonate. Although the adversity in Haiti may seem daunting, there is hope. One person at a time, the country is being healed.