This is the toddler we had transported to medical help. The good news is he received free medicine, food, and medical help.
The bad news is, there are thousands more like him.
I don't want to think about them. I'll think about this one that has a fighting chance. I tell myself, big deal. I had not much to do with it. So why do I still keep doing this? Why?
Because how can I, in good conscience, ignore this child? What kind of person am I if I turn my back on his silent cry for help?
I need to hide from the world for a while to lick my emotional wounds. Usually I return from Haiti, and seeing the worst of the worst, again and again, and can take refuge in routine.
I saw this slum and it reminded me of the graphic images of New Orleans. A city under water. A slum that floods each day. The people have nowhere else to go. This is this little boy's house. Each day the tide washes in sea water up to his door. Four times a year at least, storms flood the community so much that people flee their houses, fearing for their kids. They take refuge in the local school until the water recedes.
No one should have to live like this. It's inhuman.
My return to "normal" life now is disturbed by images of refugees in my own damn country, by dramatic stories of suffering here in my backyard, of lives lost and homes and property. I leave a country of suffering and return to a country of suffering. I need to shut down my computer, turn off my television and retreat for a while.
A long while.