A view from a roof in Port au Prince


A love letter

Dear Haiti,

Please come close to me and let me whisper these words of love into your ear. This letter is long past due. I have so much I've wanted to tell you but instead of saying it, the words are piling up inside my head. I miss you, my dear. How are you today? Is your ground still now? I'm praying for you. I'll be there in 14 days and I promise to come with some things to brighten your day. Do you like to sing? I'll bring some funny songs with actions. I might try and sneak you some jelly beans. It's a classic Easter candy here in the states.

Haiti, I wish you could look inside my heart and see how much I ache for you. I'm sorry you're broken. I'm sorry that your children are hurt. I pass my days thinking of you, planning for our future together, and buying things to bring down for you. My heart is bigger than my pocket and lately I find myself counting the coins in my pocket to pay for things, but it's okay because there's no other way I'd choose to spend it. Yesterday, I bought some princess dress-up shoes and a crown.. I know that Haiti is filled with beautiful princesses and I can't wait to give one her long awaited jewels.

Haiti, I know I don't quite speak Creole yet, but lately I feel like I'm forgetting how to speak English too. The words I speak don't seem to make sense here. Yesterday I sat in the coffee shop listening to my MP3 and reading the Bible and I sat up and looked around. I saw mouths moving, people interacting, and cars driving by outside the window. As I sat hearing only the music in my ears, the rest of the environment around me appeared to be on mute. I thought to myself, "wow. This is what life has felt like for the past month." Rather than the actual music in my ears, it's the emails, phonecalls, visions of Haiti that are silencing my reality here. This tune pulsing through my ears is addicting, I know all the beats by heart. Sometimes I see pictures or videos of you on the TV or internet and I am on the verge of tears. I feel like my sadness for you is bottling up with an intensifying amount of pressure, and I'm scared for the day I burst. I need to keep it together here. Graduation is just around the corner...

Haiti are you ready for my mom to come to meet you? Please be nice to her, I really want her to come back someday. It would be great if you could clear a little clean spot for her to sleep and ask the bugs to stay away for a few days. Don't worry too much about meeting her though, I just know she'll love you too. Can you sing her some of those beautiful worship songs? She'll love to hear your voice. Another hint... she really likes babies, so can you have some little tots close by our tent?

Haiti, my love, not an minute passes without thoughts of you. I love you. I'll never abandon you. Stay strong, my love. We'll meet again soon


A rough adjustment

Today I'm feeling anxious, awkward, like a foreigner in my own country. My chest feels tight, my legs shake back and forth throughout class, and my mind races. It's been one week since I came back from Haiti and it makes me uneasy that I have 5  more weeks until I go back. I keep trying to assure myself that 35 days is really short, but each day that I'm here ticks by a little more slowly. The countless email checking, scanning over my planner, and replaying the math of how many days until I leave are all fruitless efforts in making the time go faster.

I know that God has me here right now and so I'm trying so hard to be here 100%. So often though, I feel like my heart and mind are stuck in Haiti and I'm just walking through life here in a half-conscious manner.

As I mentioned above, I'll return to Haiti in 5 weeks. This was a trip planned prior to the earthquake and the highlight of the trip will be introducing this passion of mine to my mom. Yup, that's right. My fair skinned, 50-something year old, resort-style traveling mother will be joining me on this trip. I'm so proud of her for giving her reservations to the Lord and allowing him to change her heart for Haiti.

As for news from Haiti. The children at the orphanage (OLTCH) remain outside all day and night. We are still working at finding both a temporary and long-term fix for them. Some members from the board of the orphanage will be in Haiti in about a week from now and will get an updated assessment of the situation of Haiti and specifically at the orphanage.

The nursing school is as busy as ever. There is a portable hospital being built on the grounds of the campus and should be up and running by the end of this week. News is that doctors are slowly leaving the area. Help has been dwindling down in the past week. There is still an intense fear for aftershocks in Haiti. The National Geological survey predicted a 90% chance of an aftershock over a 5.0 in the next 30 days. People remain sleeping outdoors.