Haiti Journal #2 August 18, 2009 (all journals delayed due to lack of services in Haiti)
We walked today where heros tread and angels have no shoes...we walked in Shada.
Five years ago, Children's Hope came here with a small red bag and a few medicines for the local midwife, Madame Bwa, who cried when I gave her a pair of scissors to cut umbilical cords with. Today, thanks to many small donations, many people joining hands and resources, a clinic rises above the ashes in Shada. Hoisted above the rubble are four wonderful crumbling walls supporting a bouncing colored cloth roof that almost sings as it sways and lets pass a soothing hot wind. Rows of people wait patiently, almost proudly, to see a doctor...some for the first time in their lives. Madame Bwa looked like she might just break out in laughter or tears, she was so happy. I thought you should hear the story.
Madame Bwa had no training, no supplies, no money, but she did have a willingness to serve. She showed up. When someone needed care, she showed up...she did what she could.
She mothers anyone in arms reach. She mothered me. She taught me. She showed me how to walk through the most forgotten place on earth, a place where the filth and poverty could choke the life out of you faster than the charcoal smoke that burns your lungs for days after you leave. She taught me to see the beauty there, the pride, the love and the joy. She taught me these things while I only shared how to use a thermometer, stethoscope and blood-pressure cuff.
When she delivered babies, she would use string to tie off the cord, but didn't like using her kitchen knife to cut it. I had a pair of scissors thanks to some thoughtful folks at Marshall Hospital who couldn't stand throwing once-used surgical instruments into the trash. They showed up and salvaged what they could. Your donations showed up in the mail to make delivery possible. She showed up to use what we brought...now dozens of people are involved, each thinking they only play a small part, each part as indispensable as the next. Thanks to a progression of good hearts and willing hands, a clinic is alive and teaming with little sick angels, carefully combed and scrubbed for the occasion. An exhausted young doctor, part of a visiting team of med students from Miami, presses a hard candy to the surprised hand of a grateful little girl.
Everyone is grateful, everyone is thanked...the visiting troup of student doctors leave bags of medicines for the new clinic. We add our meds to the stash, more meds are purchased the next morning by a another woman, who became interested in Haiti when her daughter, Ashley showed up as an intern to help our sister group, SOIL, build dry toilets.
Thanks for showing up, thanks for sending your regular donations to Children's Hope, it really does save lives.
(We have no internet access...but we will send out our journals when we can.)
peace, all ways and always, leisa
Founder, Children's Hope