Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bye! Bye! Haiti

We just finished our last Confirmation brief for Haiti. A confirmation brief is a description of the plan for the following day, as well as an opportunity to thank people who have made particular contributions to the mission. It was quite a night! We heard the plan for tomorrow's retrograde from Haiti (moving all our stuff back aboard the ship). We also heard some comments from Mama V, an American missionary who has been working in Haiti for the last nine years, building orphanages, medical clinics, and now a new surgery center.

We also heard from two of our Haitian partner surgeons who have been onboard working with our surgeons to care for the people of Haiti.

It's been a long day, but I did want to jot down some thoughts before I hit the rack.

Haiti has been such an eye opener! Here is a people, who for no fault of their own live in country about the size of Maine, with 9.2 Million people crammed in. I've seen my share of people in America, standing around piles of filth, begging for something. But I've never seen such a population where for an entire day, I was looking, I couldn't find a single person who was smoking, neither did I find anyone consuming alcohol. It was almost sureal. You could tell that the people were in great need, but their clothing was for the most part appropriate and clean. Mothers caring for their children to the best that they could. Men doing whatever they could to earn a living. They are a beautiful people.

Today, nine artists came aboard to sell their wares on the ship. I bought two things: A ceramic statuette of a mother holding her child, and a painting. I wanted a painting that would remind me of Haiti whenever I saw it. It was hard. Most of the paintings were beautiful buildings on tree lined, spotless streets. Exactly the antithesis of Haiti so that wasn't right. And then I found my painting: It is a beautiful abstract, painted with the vibrant colors of the carribean, and at the same time, capturing the death of Christ on the cross. The vibrance of life juxtaposed against the blackness of death.

I was going to title this entry "Haiti By Ship" and I was going to show you pictures of Master Chief Lohner sitting on the floor playing with the little kids. But I somehow deleted these great shots from my camera. Oh well, I did get a couple of pictures of kids and patients onboard the ship, and I'll upload those pictures when I get a chance.

OK, I can no longer keep my eyes open. I'll add pictures tomorrow. Good Night!!

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