A view from a roof in Port au Prince


Un-blurrying My Vision

I'm sitting in the dark outside of my house. My new guitar rests at my side and my raw fingers are ready to punch out the thoughts that have been stirring within me as I switch from world to another... and soon to switch back again. Acoustic music streams from my computer. The road in front of my house is quiet, save the lone car that occasionally drives by.

America is lovely and full of choices, options, and alternatives. I am not tired of it. I feel like I could continue in this pattern- waking up and being amazed throughout the day at how nice it is here. I've had time with family and friends. Once again, I LOVE the time I get with the girls- both the ones my age and my little friends too. I've shopped and ate at restaurants, laid at the pool, exercised, and taken a few long car rides while blasting the radio. I now know every song by heart thanks to the lack of variety that is played. I enjoy every minute of bring here. It's also really nice to sleep in such a comfy, cool, and clean bed. You know what? It's so ironic, because when I was planning for my year in Haiti- I was quite certain I wouldn't visit home. Here I am on my third trip back to the states since I moved to Haiti. I'd be lying if I didn't admit I feel a little weak.  I have such a respect for all the other missionaries and Americans that are working full-time in Haiti. Many of them have been in Haiti for years and make it home only once a year. You are amazing!

My last few weeks in Haiti (or maybe month.. or longer?) were really hard on me. Having this time at home and being able to step away from the situation that was swallowing me whole, has given me a new perspective on things. The first change in perspective happened soon after I set my bags down in my room. My mom had arranged my room so nicely for me. As I was taking it all in, my eyes stopped scanning and fixed on a sight that literally made me shriek with joy. A blown up and framed picture of precious little Michelet was resting on my dresser.

 That night as I was trying to fall asleep and several nights since then, I've thought a lot about his family. A lot of times when I'm in Haiti I start to feel really useless. I reflect on my day at night and wonder if I let more people down than the number of people I helped. I wonder what difference my extra set of hands in the hospital made and realize that often times I'm learning more from the hospital staff than I am able to teach or give back to them. I wonder if it's even worth it to buy a plate of food for someone who is hungry when I know I will not be there to always give them food and what is the solution for the next time they are hungry? I wonder if the piece of candy I gave the kids helped them or did more harm than good.

These are all still very real questions... and legitimate.

Now that I'm not in Haiti I'm able to close my eyes and remember walking hand in hand with my boys down the dirt path on the way to see Michelet. I don't remember the faces of the girls who are begging for my sandals or the kids that run up to me for candy and run back to their homes when I tell them I don't have any. I remember pizza night with the neighborhood kids, and I'm able to dream of more pizza nights. I see Michelet's family and I finally have some energy to brainstorm for a way to help them. I really, really love that baby and his family. They have become my family in Milot. They call and check on me when they haven't heard from me. They save their pineapples and oranges for me because they know I love fruit. They are my pick -me -up, the highlight of my day when I get to see them. Their smiles are genuine and full of life. The kids are crazy like all kids are and I love coloring with them or watching them dance to the music on my phone. Their grandma is the most wonderful woman I have ever met. Our verbal exchange is extremely limited but I watch her and her charisma and love are so evident. Thanks to some helpful docs from the states, I finally have the mom covered on seizure meds and have medication for her for the next 4 months.

I remember others, not just Michelet's family and I miss them.

I know it will get hard again going back to Haiti. On every walk, run.. pretty much every time I show my face in the community, I am bombarded with requests to give and give and the truth is that I cannot fulfill them all. I still do not know how to choose who to help and when to stop or when to challenge myself by giving more than I think I can. I don't want to alienate or hinder my Haitian friends by my gifts or help. I'm not sure if that's possible, but I think it might be.  I have 4 months left in Haiti, and I'm not counting down the time. I'm not sure yet exactly what the next step is. There is a good chance I might come back to the states for a pediatric nursing job, but I am open to staying in Haiti if the right opportunity comes up. I know if i move back to the states, I will look back on this year with nostalgia. I have 4 months that I am certain of and I do not want to take that time for granted. Through the good times and the bad, Haiti has a very special place in my life. The past, the present and for certain, the future.

So in summary, I love being back in America, but I am gradually getting filled back up and soon will be ready to head back to my nursing and the life I live on that island. I have just under one week until I go back so I'll bask in the pleasures of USA just a little big longer. Bon nuit ;)

The kids that always join me on my walks :)