Saturday, October 15, 2011
Saturday October 15, 2011
As I sit here looking out the window, beyond the runway at the mountainside and landscape of an over-populated and crisis-ridden country, I can't help but feel a huge sense of guilt for leaving it behind as I head back to Washington, DC.What was my second mission trip to Haiti in less than eight months, can now only be spoken about through photographs and personal testimony. I have spent the last nine days witnessing children, families and those who somehow seem as if they have been forgotten, struggle to make peace of the hand they have been dealt after the devastation that fell upon them on January 12, 2010. Who could believe that almost two years ago, on a beautiful sun filled day, a terrible earthquake would essentially rock their world?!
The one thing I would like to convey to folks reading this is how much HOPE the people of Haiti have for themselves and one another.
Almost every single young person I came across is currently in school or trying to find a way to enroll in school if their parents cannot provide the necessary resources. The biggest problem I saw was that most students that reach the age of 18 or older and "age out" of school have no way of continuing their education because it is extremely expensive. That is a very poor message for these kids to be taught. "Go to school, invest money in your education instead of learning a trade or just quitting at a young age and getting a menial job and then when you reach the age of being eligible to enter college (20+), their won't be any other options for you unless you have the money that it takes to attend".
Unlike the United States, there are no options for student loans or forgiveness programs or even scholarships. It is a very brokem system!
The people of Haiti are filled with hope and love! They are extremely gracious and generous with what they have. I will end this entry with a story of how one night after dinner, a young man named Egans c
ame to the site carrying a heavy "old skool" 19' television set and a portable dvd player.
He carried these things almost 1 mile from him home so the team, as well as many other kids from the village could watch a movie (being powered by a generator). You see, this young man had been talking about the movie The Sandlot with our team mate Brian all week and how he wanted him to watch this movie so he found a television set, a dvd player and somehow purchased the movie from a street vendor and made it happen. WoW! Talk about being resourceful, not to mention extremely thoughtful!
I hope I was able to convey how lovely everyone is and I realize this is just a snapshot of the kindness and hopeful nature that the Haitians hold for other people. I had an amazing experience and the pleasure was all mine. I cannot wait to go back again soon!