As the plane touched down one year from my last visit to Haiti, I wondered if anything had changed. While the majority of the rubble had been cleared from the streets, sadly the poverty and the feeling of desperation still remains. This is when it struck me that I can’t wait another year to return again.
One of the most heartwarming parts of the trip for me is when we pull into the orphanage for the first time. The children surround the van and hug anyone who comes out. They are genuinely so glad to see us. The welcome we receive reminds me of the welcome I get from my own children. Then the realization sets in that these children don’t have parents to hug so for the time we are there, we become their loving family.
I think everyone has that moment on the trip when something brings tears to their eyes. For me, it was when we were invited by the children to pray with them one night. I looked around the room and saw all of us holding children while holding hands of others. We were swaying silently to the prayers of the nanny and I became overwhelmed.Clinic days are always so rewarding for me because I feel like I am able to put my medical training to the best use and impact the lives of people who desperately need help. Even if I am just suggesting Tylenol for the arthritis of an 80 year old woman, I know that medication will give her some comfort. Simple medications such as Tylenol or antacids, which we take for granted, can make a real difference in the lives of those who are suffering. When I think about how we were able to see over 1500 people on this trip, I feel honored to have been a part of this truly amazing team.
As the plane took off from Haiti, I knew that we had touched many lives but there are many more we still need to reach. This is why I will be back.