Every mission trip to Haiti is life changing. Every trip is special. Every trip is different. The people we treat. The places we go. The things we do. It’s never the same.
Baby Leonel, being supplanted by Baby Luke. Visiting Heather’s Orphanage. Treating a brave little boy with a mangled finger, while Christine comforts him by holding his hand. Malnourished, hungry, impoverished children with humble and innocent eyes and smiles that break your heart. Erica educating the Haitian women to breastfeed. Dr. Pinkal and his hot sauce. Gus running the pharmacy. Playing soccer at the orphanage (and beating Herby and Stanley’s team 5-0). Angie’s massages (and Betty White quote). Dr. Robert’s ‘Movie Night’ with the children. Children singing in Creole in the hallway at the orphanage. The feeling that you are the luckiest person on Earth, because there is no other place in the World you’d rather be. Gus bonding with the translators, like he is one of their brothers. Dr. Freddy being, well, Dr. Freddy. Bill, playing the guitar with Wilguens and Jonathan, while the younger kids sing around them and the older kids and translators improvise. Karen, our seasoned veteran of many trips, when she isn’t working, she has a child on her lap. Mapping the constellations on Dr. Freddy’s phone. Veronica working hard and ready to help wherever she was needed, and always with a smile on her face (and occasionally with a tear running down her cheek).The beach. Getting a bottle of Haitian Rum thrown to us while riding on the back of the pickup truck. Brenda, Dr. Pinkal, Dr. Freddy and Guiga taking turns at night to feed Baby Luke. Dr. Robert becomes hopeful as he realizes that a single-father whom he saw a day earlier, may in fact have treatable TB, instead of a fatal lymphoma. Giving out dresses and toys to the children in Labade. Bill and his camera. Tammy and her gun fetish. Guiga living her dream.
This was my 6th trip to Haiti and as you can see, no 2 trips are alike. But one thing remains the same… I always get more from Haiti than I am ever able to give, and in a few months, I will be back for one more.