My goal here is to get the most words on a page, if at all possible, in a somewhat entertaining fashion, while exhausting the least amount of battery charge and draining precious resources.
First things first, one of my oldest and best friends is engaged. I saw that she called multiple times today, but because of where we were, I had extremely spotty service and no access to the internet, so my initial thoughts were: A.) Someone died or B.) I have a wedding to attend! I have a special spot in my heart for Sarah Kitts and Judson Howard, and I’ve been waiting for this announcement since a phone call Sarah and I had two years ago after their first encounter. You can ask her for those details.
I’m sitting on a dusty concrete floor, in a perpetual post-sponge-bath sweat, in a half made housing structure. This “compound” serves as an orphanage, a guest house, a kitchen, a medical clinic, and a garden. The most recent addition, and personal favorite as of today, a soccer field.
To describe Haiti as rustic would be little more than a sarcastically misplaced stab at a country that proves its resilience by getting out bed in the morning. This place is akin to a Christmastime furnace, the ecological conditions remind me of the way gravel road-rash feels, and the St. Marc’s hospital I visited today is proof enough that every American medical student should spent at least a semester in a third world setting.
It was sad, and hard to see, and at times I wanted to throw-up. There were also the moments where I got lost in the art of hard work, and marveled in the beauty of a brand new orphanage with a view of Calico beach. We redressed an elderly woman’s broken leg and provided tension with resources like kitchen twine, and a jug filled with sand. There were babies today, lots of babies. And in Haiti, there are a lot of dying babies.
I marveled at Doctor Franco, and his story. The Haitian born doctor was raised an orphan, and when his house mom told him it was time to go away to Theological school in Houston, Franco rebutted. His concern, at the time, was that he really felt like he wanted a profession that would allow him to be financially independent, but also, one that would help him give back. Franco asked to go to medical school. This was an unlikely dream, considering Franco started schooling as a Haitian orphan as a nine year old, and had no resources to invest into an education. Out of over 30,000 applicants, 100 were chosen. Franco was 46th.
He is the kind of man that can run this place and not know where the next $1,000 dollars are going to come from. It has been incredible to see him work, to see the way he loves. It’s a privilege to be surrounded by wonderful people who are not only intelligent and committed to human dignity, but convicted in the belief that even the smallest attempts to create change are important enough to travel to Haiti for.