March 24th, 2010
Headed back to Haiti.
Our tee shirts for my 12th team are brown instead of our traditional white. Fitting I suppose. Somber, subdued and won’t show the dirt and grime from hard work as much. A medical trip to Haiti is never easy, but this year’s trip will be much, much worse. I learned that when I was there in January a week after the earthquake. Our shirts read “Send your love to Haiti”. We are certainly doing that. It is a true labor of love to leave your family, your work, your responsibilities, your creature comforts and pay your way to travel to a place that is not just broken, but crushed. From Utah it is not an easy trip. We met at the SLC airport at 4 am to take a flight to Dallas/Ft. Worth. A two hour layover then another flight to Ft. Lauderdale. Once there, we have to wait overnight, before getting up at 3 am to get on the early flight to Port-au-Prince. Even with commercial flights now going to PAP we still arrive sleep deprived in Haiti.
I have been humbled and touched by all the donations that have come in the mail or on our website since the earthquake. There ARE good people in this world, people who care about their fellow human beings who are suffering, people who want to help. Large corporations have given thousands of dollars to Healing Hands, donations on our website have come from as far away as New Zealand. Two children, a 6yr old girl and an 8 yr old boy decided on their own to raise money for us, one by making valentine’s packages for sale in her neighborhood, the other by organizing donations at his school. When I think of these two children, my hope for a better Haiti, my hope for a better world burns brighter.
My five year old son asked me the other day, “Daddy, are we rich?” I told him what someone once told me: ‘He who has friends is rich’. Our team is made up of two doctors, three physical therapists, four nurses, a social worker and three support volunteers two of whom are HHHIF board members. Since the earthquake, I would bet that our board members are averaging close to 20 hours/week doing Haiti work on top of their jobs, families, and other responsibilities. I am in awe of how much they do in spite of their busy lives because they care.
One of the greatest benefits I have I have gained from my involvement with HHH is the association and friendship I have developed with so many caring, compassionate people in Haiti and in North America. Most are people whom I would never have met or whom I would have only known on a casual basis if not for their commitment to make a difference in Haiti. They are people who truly put “love thy neighbor” into practice. I count myself extremely fortunate to call them my friends.
Albert Schweitzer said, “You must do something for your fellowman, even if it is only a little thing. Do something for others, something for which you get no reward other than the privilege of doing it”.
It is a privilege for me to travel to Haiti and work with such wonderful people.