Thursday, January 14, 2010

Why Haiti?

Why? Why is this happening to the people of Haiti? The kind, smiling, good-hearted Haitians who had more than their fair share of life obstacles and challenges as it was. The sorrow of a nation is the shock of our entire world wondering what we can do and how we can help.
My Mom and Dad went to the beautiful country of Haiti on their honeymoon in the early 70s. No matter how many times I say this it always seems an oxymoron....Honeymoon? Haiti? Huh?!? Growing up visiting my Dad's house I always admired a large, bold, colorful painting from Haiti. It was of Haitian women - very Gauguin-like - and I loved looking at the deep magenta and golden yellow hues. This was my first image of Haiti - bold, colorful, tropical, and romantic.

As I grew I learned of its poverty. We studied Haiti briefly in French class. And then the orphaned children from St. Joseph's Home for Boys and Wings of Hope came to our church. They danced - boy did they ever dance. With smiles that lit up the room. It was impossible not to fall in love with these boys. We all did. My mom especially.

A few years later mom traveled to St. Joseph's Home in Port-au-Prince on a mission trip. She lived at the orphanage and played games with the children. A much different Haiti experience than her first; I was very proud of her passionate dedication in stepping way out of her comfort zone. Hard not to be thankful this earthquake didn't happen while she was there in service. I sure am thinking and praying for those Americans stuck in Haiti right now in the midst of their mission. St. Joseph's Home was structurally devastated by this quake. The boys are reported as together and safe.

Now the tremors of helplessness are all around. Aftershock seems a poignant word. And it is this image of Haiti I hold close. No romantic colors, but a boy still dusty from debris with big brown eyes. What will his future be? Will that infectious smile return one day?

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