Pieces

Pieces

Robenson, who is the director of Kenscoff school  said to me yesterday, that the reason he believes in education so deeply is because, as he tapped his head “this is all  I have, and with it I can change my life and help others. If I can educate  200 children  and they each help even 10 children themsleves that will still make a difference and something like  that, can change Haiti”.

This morning Kingsley one of the medical students who participates in our medical trips and works at the General Hospital was talking  to me about Haiti and how the reason I come here  and work so hard, must be that  I want everyone to be healthy. We began to talk about  what Haiti would be like if everyone was healthy and had enough to eat and clean water to drink. It was a wonderful vision.

Yesterday we met with a boy who lost his foot during the  earthquake, his mother gave birth to his sister as they lay  in the yard of the hospital waiting for help, in the days after  the earthquake. Yesterday, I was there, to check on the family for my friend Shellie, who found them there in the hospital yard, last January and has been helping them since.

We met on the street in Petionville. He is a shy young man, I asked a few questions about his family and his health but got quickly to  point, money. How much does it cost him to go to school? How much for his English lessons? How about his sisters tuition? How does his mother support him? He looked away from us as he answered. It is hard for me to be a stranger asking so many personal questions of someone I have never met before.

Sionfonds programs are administered by Haitians so people receiving services from us do not have to be questioned by someone like me who has never  lived a life like theirs, who does not know what it is to live  in a tiny shelter without any income, praying that  someone will think of them and send them some money so they can eat.

Even though we were all uncomfortable, I keep asking questions, nonchalantly acting like I have a right to know his situation and maybe I do have at least a good reason, because if I don’t find out what his family’s needs are  I won’t be able to report them to Shellie.

I came to check on his education but have found something  else, the family is not eating except  when the someone sends money or gives them food.  Shellie has paid for the two older  children go to school  and sent packages down to them, the shoes and shirt he is wearing are from Shellie.

As we talk and I ask the same question in a variety of ways, it becomes clear that they are not eating  everyday.

The thing is that is hard, is that  in Haiti many people do not eat every day. When a family in the neighborhood does have food they share  with their neighbors because who knows who will be hungry next and be in need of the generosity of others.

Trying to wrap this post up in a neat little package is escaping me, but I know the pieces are  here.

What is clear is that really, all any of us  has, is what we carry in our heads and hearts and what we do with that.

annie