For some, this experience seems unobtainable. But let me tell you my experience started with a “Yoga in the Park” fundraiser and two months later I was on a plane to Haiti. My first trip was June 2010 and I didn’t know what to expect. However, I got much more than I could have ever hoped for. I met a girl named Natalie at the orphanage the day we arrived. She was dirty and covered with sores. I was warned by several that she was a bitter and hard to control. Something in me decided to find out for myself. I caught her eye and she ran up to me and ……..hugged me! From that moment on she was by my side or in my arms. I played with her, ate with her, showered her. All she needed was one on one love. It was a bond that I had never felt before. The little girl that scared everyone was the hardest person to leave behind. To this day, I have never seen a more beautiful smile.
A few months after my return, I was blessed with a gift from two amazing people. The gift was a full sponsorship to return to Haiti for a second time. Before the question was even finished I had said yes. So off I went on my next mission. One person in particular will be in my heart and my head forever. His name is Nickerson, a 10 year old boy that arrived at the second clinic just days from death. He couldn’t stand, couldn’t speak and his outlook did not seem very promising. We laid him on a blanket, gave him fluids and my peanut butter and jelly sandwich. He was given antibiotics and pain relievers. The doctors said it was most likely meningitis but without tests they couldn’t be certain. He was too weak to walk so a mule took him to the bottom of the mountain where our transportation was. We took him from the mountain back to the orphanage with us. Once there, he received more medications, food and drink, a shower and bed to sleep in. By the next day he was almost sitting on his own and feeding himself breakfast. He stayed at the orphanage a few more days but in the end was able to walk back home fully recovered. Had it not been for the generous donations to purchase medications and the willingness and drive of those around, Nickerson probably would have died up there on that mountain.
Each trip was truly a life-changing journey. The people of Haiti have nothing but are willing to give everything. I can’t say thank you enough to those that donate their resources and time to this amazing cause. People for Haiti will always be a part of me.