Recently I've been learning more about hunger. It was first stimulated by reading Kisses From Katie, then further stimulated by my day of fasting. I realized how incredibly uncomfortable it is to be hungry. Not the type of hunger that most Americans relate to- that hunger you feel when you've waited an hour or two longer than you would've liked to for dinner, or perhaps the hunger you feel when you skip a meal. The hunger I'm learning about is the deep, uncomfortable, sickening, tiring hunger. The type that keeps you awake at night, or makes the little kids collapse in the road on the way walking to school. The hunger that makes children binge and then vomit when they finally have a chance to eat after several days of having no food. This is the hunger that is rampant in Haiti. This is the hunger I am trying to learn more about. And this too, is the hunger I am trying to get a taste of- that I might be just a little more compassionate, concerned, and raise a voice for the people that deal with this battle of hunger every day of their life.
I wish I could scream it louder. It frustrates and angers me that people don't know this hunger. I wish I could take away their food and money and have them experience a day without food to know what it is like. I wish that they would see the little kids that look years younger than their age, with skinny limbs and hair discolored and falling out, and then decide if they would like to get a little more involved in caring for the hungry. I guess what frustrates me the most is myself, because for the last 5 months that I have lived here, I have turned my back on these hungry people, deciding that at the time I was here to do something else. I was here to help at the hospital and I was doing my part in Haiti. I wanted to control my resources and efforts, but my eyes are finally opening and I see that isn't what following Jesus calls for. I guess I figure if I was able to somehow ignore it while living surrounded by it, there must be many others ignoring it when they can't see any signs of it from the comfort of their own home.
I don't know how to fix the problem, and I am sure open to hearing ideas. The greatest thing that I would like to do for the Haitians would be to provide them with more jobs so that they can work their way out of poverty and have the pride of making a future for their families. I'm not a businessman and have no experience in creating jobs, starting organizations... I wouldn't even know how to teach women or men simple crafts or projects to do to make money- because I don't have those artistic gifts either. What I do have is compassion. I love holding people, cleaning them up, bandaging their wounds, spending time with them, talking to them,playing with kids, feeding them, giving them small gifts to brighten their day.. so I guess in the mean time while I brainstorm on a way to help Haitians help themselves, I guess I'll just work on loving people I meet in the villages each day. It's what gives me joy, gives me a new 'best day of my life', new friends, and new inspiration.