Friday, March 10, 2006

Paradox

I'm sitting at the table in the hotel's dining room, overlooking the serene, azure ocean. The sun is glinting off the flat water, shimmering like a mirror. A cool breeze washes over me as I'm typing. Joggers huff as they pass by. Many enjoy running on the road that parallels the ocean.

This morning I woke at 5, got up and prayed for hot water. I'm sick with a bad cold. There was hot water...in the spigot. But when I turned on the shower, it was cold. I took a very very quick, brief shower, and I'm still shivering and shaking.

I have this odd love/hate relationship with this country. Love the people, their strength, their spirits, their fierce determination and will to survive, hate the crushing poverty.

I hate not having hot water at 5 a.m. when I'm so cold I just want to curl up under the covers and lie there.

Haiti is a paradox. Beautiful turquoise ocean waters that are overfished, rugged, majestic mountain peaks that are stripped of trees, gentle people whose serene smiles mask a relentless struggle to make it just one more day. To rise each morning, with hope in their hearts that maybe, just maybe, today will be better than yesterday.

Lynx air lied to us. They said our plane yesterday was grounded because it failed inspection. They sent emails to us saying this. But here in Haiti, we found out they weren't grounded. They bumped us. We were supposed to leave yesterday. Had we left I wouldn't have met that mother and her two, sad, hungry children. Now they can get food, and help. When we get food in the warehouse. For that I'm grateful...that at least they will be helped. It's worth it to stay the extra day to know they will be fed. But dear God, right now I need to go home. I need my husband, chicken noodle soup, a warm blanket and sleep.

Good-bye Haiti.

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