ever since my first visit to haiti in july of 2010 with a team of high school and college students, i have been waiting for the day i would be able to return. that day finally came, and i got to return to haiti with a team from ordinary hero last week.
we spent the first day driving around port-au-prince, looking for the children’s hospital/orphanage that mother teresa started. along the way, we were able to soak up pieces of haiti. the art, the sounds, the smells, the traffic. people, turkeys, chickens, goats and pigs could be seen along the sides of the roads. evidence of the earthquake that was almost three years ago can still be seen almost everywhere we looked.
visiting the missionaries of charity home wasn’t easy. many of the babies were very sick, very malnourished, with iv’s hanging down from the ceiling, pumping life into their veins. some moms and families were there holding their babies during visiting hours, until the bell was rung and the babies were returned to their beds. i will never forget the way the entire center filled with cries at that moment.
after holding babies, trying to soothe them, and assisting the nuns in feeding the many children, we went to our next stop: child hope international.
we were able to be a part of child hope’s feeding program, and what a privilege that was! these children come from the surrounding tent communities that are still present all over port au-prince. thanks to child hope, they have access to at least 3 warm, full meals each week. doesn’t that just break your heart? while it’s wonderful that they have this, it hurts to think about the fact that most of them just don’t know where the other 18 meals will come from.
have you ever seen such beautiful children? we were overjoyed to hug them, dance with them, draw with them, serve them, love them.
this brother was so sweet. our hearts were so touched by the way he protected and looked after his little sister.
haiti is full of beauty. full of beautiful people. but the people of haiti have to struggle in ways most americans can never imagine. but they are strong. they fight each day to survive to the next. i wonder if there are ways we can join them in this fight. perhaps make the fight a little easier, even if just for a day. even if just for one person, one child.
my hope is that these photos will tell a story. but to understand, to truly know, you have to go yourself. there were things i didn’t document. things i can only remember by the images that i can’t (and don’t want to) erase from my mind. those are the things you have to discover for yourself. and i really hope you do. if not in haiti, somewhere. find out what it’s like to live life somewhere else, to live life another way. maybe in your own community. maybe around the world. maybe both. hopefully in the process you will find people to love, and that will change both you and them.
**to see more photos, visit my facebook page.**