I am writing this at night after everyone has gone to bed at the guest house of the CODEP compound. It has cooled off quite a bit, there is a wonderful ocean sound calling me to hit the hay and about 25 bugs have decided to have a party on my laptop screen.
But that's enough about me, Day 2 in Haiti. Sorry about the rambling brevity, but the boy is sleepy and if I am going to keep up with all these energetic mission folks who wake up really too early, I need my beauty sleep 😉
It was once again a packed day of visiting sites, talking with organizers and observing the sites, sounds and life of Haiti. We visited two main sites today in Léogâne to visit Holy Cross Hospital, The Nursing School, a field hospital and the CODEP Reforestation Project.
There is so much that struck me today as we traveled the roads and meet with folks. From seeing some of the more devastated areas – an estimated 90% of the houses in Léogâne were destroyed by the earthquake - to seeing the piles and piles of "Junk for Jesus" that well-intentioned folks have burdened organizations because they did not ask what was needed before sending so much; it was a good day of soaking things in.
As I listened to folks and talked with the delegation, I have learned so much about this particular country. You must remember that I really had no previous interactions about Haiti before this, so I am loving getting whirlwind education on some of the ins and outs of such a complex country and culture. I took the picture above while walking on the beach this afternoon. While beautiful, if you look closer you will see that the beach is littered with garbage: plastic bottles, shoes and more etc. This beautiful beach marked with the "sins" of humanity. The connections are obvious: the troubles of Haiti run deep and are complex and MANY have been complicit in it's hardships.
Again, I am not a Haiti expert, but I do know that simply sending a container full of stuff a hospital does not need nor ever asked for may be easy, well-intentioned and feel good, it ends up doing more harm than good, it wastes resources and we really do not do much good in the long run.
So . . . today's takeaway is much the the first days: if we are SERIOUS about being a part of long-term, effective and strategic recovery . . . . partnership, partnership, partnership.
And that is where I must end it because I am about to fall asleep. Tomorrow we get a site tour of the reforestation project and then we road trip for the day to Visit Fondama and Papay Farmers Movement.