Monday, June 28, 2010
My Sister Went to Haiti
My sister sent me a write up of her recent visit to Haiti, and I felt like I should share it with all of you. To really understand the context, my sister was adopted as a few week old infant from Brazil, from a house for unwed mothers. She is an incredibly caring person.
The story of how she got to the US is truly amazing, considering all the red tape that my mother had to go through. At one point my mother had to leave my sister with a woman that she didn't know, so that my mother could fly back to the US for more paperwork. In the end, she had to go to the palace and blackmail an official for my sister to leave the country.
Here is her write up of her recent trip.
My trip to , in a word...unforgettabl e.
I was there for two full weeks which was the longest I've ever been, but it felt not nearly long enough. I never knew what day or what time it was and I literally felt as though I were there for about 2 days.
The average temp was about 99, the days were VERY HOT, but I was lucky enough to have stayed at a home which had a window air conditioner and fans running at night ( very rare for Haiti ). The power was hit and miss , so in order to run the air or the fan we had to run a generator so I decided I would only use the fan.
There are currently about 80 kids at the orphanage ( about 20 pre - earthquake and the rest new arrivals. The staff told me there have been severe behavior problems with the 20 kids that were not issued the humanitarian parole after the earthquake because all of their friends are now gone. The kids speak a little English but mostly what they said to me and the other American workers was "you adoption me", meaning they were asking for us to adopt them.
The damage is unbelievable and it is not hard to understand why nearly 200,000 people were killed. The buildings literally collapsed and where they once were are now huge piles of rubble. I asked if the bodies were retrieved, but there really is no way of knowing until the rubble is removed, which will be many years from now, if ever. Even though Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere, Haitians rarely voice a concern about anything. They seem to accept the life they have, living on an average of $2 a day, but understandably this earthquake has shaken them to the core. Each Haitian I spoke with is deathly afraid of the quake happening again and nearly everyone has lost someone. I don't think any of us could ever imagine what it would be like to try and stumble knee deep through piles of bodies searching for someone we know.
I spent each afternoon at the orphanage helping prepare lunch, holding babies, and assisting as much as I could with the play therapy that a couple of doctors were doing with the older kids. I also spent a couple of days helping clean up the home of one of the orphanage directors which was badly torn apart by the earthquake.
The common scene driving home from the orphanage was piles of rubble, "tent cities" everywhere, and kids tapping on the car windows begging for money.
Having said all of that, I really did have a wonderful time and we had a lot of fun. I went to my first ever restaurant in Haiti where I tried goat for lunch and it was actually pretty good ( tasted like roast beef ). On my second to the last day there, we drove a couple of hours to a beach resort and spent the day relaxing.
I could have stayed forever and I could go on and on with sad, funny, and unbelievable stories, but you get the idea and I have lots of pics! Thanks everyone for your gifts of money, it really did help a lot!!
Thanks a lot sis.