In March 2012, I had the pleasure to go on my second trip to Haiti with “People for Haiti.” My first mission in January was an incredible, life-changing experience. So, when I got the opportunity to go back down there, I didn’t have to think twice about it. This time, the team from the States was to meet a team of doctors and medical students from Brasil for a surgical mission. When I met the Brasilian group in Miami, I knew we had a great team and I could hardly contain my excitement.
We arrived in Port au Prince on a bright sunny day and I couldn’t wait to get to the orphanage to see Bonnie, Mike, the rest of the PFH team and, of course “my kids!” We got to the orphanage and were greeted by many, many happy children screaming with delight at our arrival. We had a new little one there too, Baby Luke, with whom I fell in love immediately. I knew this trip would be just as rewarding as the last. In fact, it did not disappoint, it was just as amazing and full of new, eye-opening experiences.
As soon as we arrived, we hit the ground running, scheduling several patients for surgery the moment we got there. I was excited and happy to be getting straight to work. After a full day of seeing patients, everyone was ready for the next day. It was to be the first surgical mission for People for Haiti. However, later that evening, our plans were abruptly, and without warning, changed. Due to these unforeseen circumstances, instead of the surgical mission, for which we had come to Haiti, we had to change gears, cancel all the surgeries that had been scheduled and instead find places where we could render non-surgical, medical assistance on a moments notice. While it was a bit unfortunate,we were able to regroup and shine as the people who work for People for Haiti do on a regular basis. Despite the initial disappointment, I was reminded on many occasions during this trip how important our presence there was in Haiti. No matter what, we make a difference in the lives of the people of Haiti every day.
It is said that where God closes one door, he opens a window. That could not have been more true during this mission. Instead of the last minute changes being a negative, they were a testament to how resilient, resourceful and amazing the people are who work and volunteer for People for Haiti. There is still so much need and so much to do in this small island nation and People for Haiti will be there every step of the way doing what they can to help the this nation and its people thrive and prosper. I cannot wait to get back there to lend a hand again and I will continue to go back for as long as I am able!