Friday, February 11, 2011

Just another crazy day in Haiti...

We started out on the road at 7 a.m. Drove 3 hours north to Grande Saline, visited communities, a water project we installed to combat cholera, talked with families who will be receiving houses from us. One mother watched her house get swept away by last year's hurricane Thomas. Her entire house was swallowed by the ocean and now she lives in a tent.

Drove all over, visited the Central Plateau. We were on so many bad roads and bouncing up and down for so long that I joked that I felt like a pin ball. sprong, sprong, sprong!

That is the key to Haiti. A sense of humor. Haitians have it and use it to survive. And you do it as well when you are on the road, in the field, visiting families, seeing the suffering and the seemingly overwhelming problems. You have little light moments in which you laugh and joke because the work is so hard and the days are so long and you have to laugh. Especially when you return to your hotel 13 hours later and grab a late dinner, after eating nothing all day (when I know I will be on the road in remote areas I do not eat) only to find out the chicken resembles something that was run over by your 4x4 and the french fries are cold.

So you laugh, eat the cold, dead chicken and remember how grateful you are to live in the United States and have a job where you try, not always succeeding, but you try, to make life better for people who only want the same things everyone else has. A decent life, a job, a solid home in which to raise their children, enough to eat, education for their kids, and hope for the future.


julie.sloane said...

Humor is the only way. They should have what they need and it is humbling to know that theirs is the older democracy. Good leaders and a fair judiciary make all the difference. It seems so little to ask.

Mary Ricksen said...

Welcome home Bonnie!
safe and sound in your own bed!

Bonnie Vanak said...

Jules, humor does help. Sometimes it's all the people have. Thanks Mary!