Friday, May 7, 2010

Well, I've been back for over a week and have been trying to determine why I am procrastinating posting from this last trip. At first, I thought it was because I was trying to catch up on things; working on the rental property, cutting lawns, e mails, etc.... but I realize that this past trip also had me seeing some difficult things: the naked handicapped child laying on a concrete patio in front of the "poor house" in Thomassique, his body covered in dust and dirt. He was trying to move with his arms and legs in different directions, each time he lifted his head to move, it would fall back down hitting the concrete with a thud.

There was the visit again to the Missionaries of Charity orphanage. This time, the smell of urine and defecation was overpowering. The small babies laying in these drab cribs, coughing, scratching at open sores. Diapers made of scrap clothes soiled and dripping. Some of them with bellies extended because of hernias, others thin and their skin tight over their bones like tents that have been staked to tight and you can see the poles holding it up. And the eyes, it's almost too much. They get very big and there is this look which makes you understand that this baby is not going to live much longer.

Too many babies, not enough love.

Then there was the woman and her daughter who appeared at the Rectory one day. I have been a silent critic of the Catholic Church, but I can honestly say, they are the only churches I have seen in Haiti whose doors are always open. People of any denomination, at any time of the day, can enter and seek water or food. This woman and her daughter arrived with the clothes they wore and a small bag of what I would call rags.

We put together some clothes, found flip flops for their bare feet and gave them food, water and vitamins. When I asked the woman how old her daughter was, she said she could not remember how many years ago she was born. She did not even know her own birth date.

Leaving Haiti, the wounded from the earthquake walking up the stairs to the plane. The sweat pouring down their faces as the pain of walking and climbing sapped their energy. It's all very raw and real... and it is still there even if CNN is not reporting it everyday.

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