My sister, Tammy Denbo, went on her first mission trip to Haiti in January 2011. When she returned, she had a new lease on life. Even with her vivid descriptions, I still did not fully understand the meaning behind her tears. Now, after my first trip, it seems like Deja Vu as find myself experiencing similar thoughts and emotions.
Just before I left I became a little nervous from others’ cautions about Haiti. It seemed like a broken record…It is not safe to go there…..You cannot drink the water….You are exposing yourself to many illnesses….You have a family at home to think about……..However, these feelings were quickly laid to rest when I met the interpreters. They were amazing. During the trip I often heard other members of the group call them the “peace makers.” This statement could not have been more accurate. They helped us experience their culture, help their people and ensured that we were not in dangers way. Without them, these mission trips would not be possible.
One of the warmest memories I will forever hold near to my heart, are the children. The first clinic that we held was at an orphanage in Port-au-Prince. These children were starving for love. I was so overwhelmed with emotion, I sat down in the middle of the floor. Immediately, children began to pile on my lap. They were more than content with just being held close. At that moment, I knew that I was not going to be able to change their situation, but by being there I could provide them with a positive, loving experience.
Haiti has without a doubt changed my life. A person can not fully understand their life and culture until they experience it first hand. People for Haiti is a wonderful grass roots organization that prides themselves on the help they can provide to a country and population that is in desperate need. In addition to the memories I have made, this journey has also expanded my family. To my fellow teammates and the people of Haiti….I will always have you in my heart.
~Wendy Denbo, Mental Health, Registered Intern