Some of the days? Are hard. No matter what the giftedness, sometimes there is just enough to break your heart.
Friday started with a trip out to Carrefor- a Home for Sick/Dying Adults. We drove along the coast, getting a glimpse of the beauty in Haiti. We had to split up- men can't be in the women's area and vice versa. The upper level had a few different rooms of women, so as a group of women, we split up as well. My room had a woman who was in need of care- the doctor there volunteers a few times a week and otherwise works in a clinic and has applications out to secure a position at the hospital. What a blessing he is. Jaime was able to talk with him while rubbing lotion on one of the women that was being treated. The rest of us in my group gave massages to the women in their beds and painted nails. Conversation is limited due to not being fluent in Creole and them not understanding English. In the other women's room, they had just lost one of the patients there... I couldn't imagine.
Next stop was at General Hospital. It is a hard place to describe that would honor the Haitians and be true to my description in my head. It is a much different space than what we expect in the care we receive back home. I am so thankful it exists, as they provided care to many in the wake of the earthquake. I am thankful they have it to determine what is wrong with the children we see there. I mourn the status of the buildings we were in. We have a couple of teachers who organized a drive for supplies for the hospital down here- providing formula, bottles, clothing, etc for the parents. Each crib received one in the first three buildings, then we went across the street to the actual hospital building itself and delivered in the maternity ward areas. We were able to give each bed a bag- there were just enough. We also had the opportunity to hold babies- some born earlier in the day that were laying with their mothers. I held one that was less than 10 hours old. The button nose, the curly hair, the soft skin... babies like ours back home but not born into privilege- born into poverty. I wonder what life will hold for them in the coming days and years. I know my kids were able to be driven home on paved roads in a newer car, in a brand new car seat that was fitted to ensure their safety, with a new bunting outfit on, blankets, and then brought to a home with running water and electricity. Then were provided all the food they needed, the infant check ups, the well child visits, and since have enjoyed always having food, clothing, and shelter. I understand we have people in the US that don't have all the same luxuries, but I can say is the people at home have options for shelters, government aid, and programs to assist them. It isn't perfect, but they are all still options that the Haitians do not have available to them. It's a hard day.
Saturday (yesterday) was a second trip to Grace Village, this time to spend time with the orphans. There were bears cut out of felt that they were able to choose colors and buttons for eyes, stuff, and put the heart inside of them. All of the prep work a true labor of love by Shelley (one of the leaders). The other project were kits supplied by Home Depot back at home- a wooden calendar with the dates on them. The guys helped the kids put those together, while there was a group sewing bears, another putting the snack together for them. We also have on our team someone who put a fundraiser together to provide AED's for Grace Village and taught a CPR/ emergency response class. What a blessing they were able to provide those and the extra measure of help, in hope they will never need to use them.
To help us wind down and spend time together as a team, we were blessed with the time and ability to visit Wahoo Beach down here. It is absolutely beautiful and gives a perspective of something other than the poverty that exists in Haiti. The water was wonderful, sun bright, and few hours relaxing were much appreciated.
So... blessed. Blessed in the perspective of the quality of care we have back home. The ability to not only have a doctor look at and diagnose the issues, but the medication provided. Blessed to have a sterile environment to be cared in. Blessed to see how Grace Village has come since my first trip- when there were shells of the dorms for the kids and the feeding center-- to today with two dorms, feeding center, medical clinic, school, aquaponics, church, and under construction are four houses for family style living. Amazing blessing of God. Blessed to see the kids blossom under the care being provided and having the approval of counselors on the system in place- the kids love it there and don't necessarily wish for something else. Blessed. I was sore the last couple of days physically but I had been supplied the medication required and was able to get some semblance of relief. Blessed by the staff that takes care of us so well down here. Blessed by the experience of loving on children. Blessed by the ability to take a part of a day and start to decompress as a team. There are hard days in Haiti- tears from all present at times- but blessed in knowing God continues to break our hearts for what breaks His. It is my prayer that one day, all might understand the blessing through the hurt.