Sunday, June 13, 2010

Doubled Up Because We Haven't Had Wireless...go figure

“Pa kite' moun di ou ke' ou paka fa anyen.”

Ron is a man who is traveling with us on the team, and this is his second time back to Haiti in 30 years. He was born here and now lives in Miami, still speaks the language and has come back to help. Ron sat in the back of the bus with us and Rojelin (who came to help translate) as we traveled to Julie’s Place and Madame Paul’s today. Rojelin, if you remember, is the 15 year old who is waiting to be reunited with his sister in Miami after he lost both of his parents in the quake.

I picked Ron’s brain as much as I could as we drove, and I asked him if he had to say what will help Haiti rebuild (as ridiculously simple of a question this is for such a complex reality) what would it be. And he said, time. And education. And this idea of “adding to.” He referenced the government and the concrete structures and said the same of both. He said that people knock down and rebuild, overcorrecting what the last person did, without any foundation. No one is adding to, they’re just always starting over.

Then he told Rojelin in Creole, “Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something,” then he turned and looked out the window as we passed a tent city that has completely flooded. And I got chills.

Rojelin wants to be a doctor. And he will be. And Kelsey and I told him that we’ll come and see him when we’re sick. We’ve also told him that he should give that cute little girl at Julie’s place a chance. He stopped listening to us after a while.

I sat in the top meeting room beside the kitchen of the OTV this afternoon and downed my very first Fluffer Nutter Sandwich and a sugar can coke. For those of you who have not experience the magic that is the Fluffer Nutter…it is white bread…with peanut butter…and marshmallow fluff. Lord in Heaven. Once again, my life has been changed in Haiti. I will make you all one when I get back. Scratch that. I will make you two. We will sit in silence and eat them and reflect on all things good.

And after I tasted the glory. I started in on journaling with a table full of wonderfully strong and compassionate ladies who were attempting to get some sort of journaling in amongst all our chatting. And I wrote about how that moment felt heavy. Not in a hopeless or distraught way. Not even in a joyless way. But I recognized the tension in myself.

And I thought back on Madame Paul’s place. And how big it was. And how overcrowded it was. And how foul smelling, and unorganized, and heart breaking it was. I thought about all the unclothed kids that aren’t potty-trained, the sick kids that looked so sad, and the babies that were being rocked by 7 year olds. And then I thought about how, yet again, I do not know how to feel in Haiti. And how I forget that I don’t every time, and I allow myself to think that this is all new. That surely I figured it out last time and processing should be quick and easy and everything will have a place to go.

But it doesn’t. Once again, it doesn’t. And thank God, as I hope and pray and am desperate to never be the soul so callused with time and experience that poverty doesn’t confuse me. Doesn’t stun me. Doesn’t leave me wondering what to do with it. Doesn’t make me uncomfortable in my own skin.

It is on the heels of that moment when inspiration emerges. At least eventually, Lord willing. And it is out of inspiration that we share the ideas that change the world.

Ron said today that Haiti cannot be put in a box, cannot be figured out no matter how hard you try. Which is somewhat comforting, because it seems that all things that I want to be a part of share the same description.

We finished out the day with the OTV kids who look more and more like the lucky ones with every new site we visit. Lasagna supper. And a beautifully moving and open debriefing time on the roof.

Oh, I forgot. Today the kids argued with me about the fact that my parents are both white. They say I’m too dark, my mama must be black. No? Papa? No? Then they’re red. Your parents are red. No…nuh no…they’re both white. I have thoroughly confused them.

Tomorrow, one of the richest spots in the world in my book…the half “standing,” half tent “covered” church of Pastor Mois in the heart of Port au Prince. 5:20 wake up call and worth every minute of sleep lost ten times over.

To confusion that means we’re alive,

Sleep well

No comments:

Post a Comment