Wednesday, January 11, 2012

2 years since the earthquake...

So it’s been 2 years since the earthquake.
Or so that’s what my calendar tells me.
It’s still so vivid in my mind…one would guess it was a few months prior. 
I can still feel the same fear and emotion I felt that day if I let myself mentally go back.
I can still see the bodies lining the streets.
I can still smell that wretched aroma of death that permeated the city streets.
I can hear the woman screaming, chasing after the vehicle I was in- literally throwing her baby at me telling me to take her.
The chaos was so overwhelming.
I remember being told “you’re an American, you’ll find relief” and didn’t know to be relieved or disgusted by that statement.
I remember driving in a 16 passenger van, that was holding nearly 40 individuals- half medical students traveling into Portauprince to see if their loved ones were alive.
The young girl wallowing loudly as she received the news that the building her fiancé was in had collapsed on top of him.
I had my headphones on to try and block all this out.
They did nothing.
No words could console her.
I silently prayed for her and passed her the tissues in my backpack.
I remember everyone screaming as we passed over bridges, hoping and praying they wouldn’t collapse underneath us.
The sites of all the convenient stores and local marts completely ransacked.
The nursing school completely demolished with all its students still inside.
The UN telling me they could do nothing for me, and to find my own way.
And all the while- the worse of my fears had yet to be played out.
Was Gayepaye okay? Was he missing any limbs?  Was he crushed? Is he crying? Is he scared? Where is he?
Driving into PAP the night of January 12th, 2010 is an image my mind will never let go.
One man swinging the arms, and another man swinging the legs of individuals who had died during the quake- and throwing them into a dump truck- later, into a mass grave.
The only way to make it back to the orphanage was to run over these bodies, as if they were speed bumps.
We could only make it so far until we had to walk a ways.
I stepped on several people.
It was pitch dark.
I had no light.
I only knew what the outside gate of the orphanage looked like.
Once entering the gate, I panicked to find someone who knew where HE might be- anyone.
I was lead to a tent, and in it my little man was sleeping soundly, as if the earthquake was just another day in his life.
Children are so resilient.
And to this day, we’ve never brought the quake up.
It’s one of those topics that weighs so heavily on your mind and consumes so much emotion that it can’t just be “brought up.”
And so today, I am reminded of how truly blessed I am.
I am alive.

Gayepaye is alive.
I’m an RN working to make the lives of others better.
I have friends/family/ and an amazing boyfriend who love me.
I think of those college students out of Massachusettes who weren’t so lucky on that twelfth of January, 2010. 
Whose families had to travel to Haiti themselves to discover their own children’s body’s.

I remember my mother’s face when I arrived home after being evacuated on a military jet nearly a week after the earthquake happened.
I’d never seen her look so scared, so uneasy.
She was one of the few people I could actually break down and talk to about what took place.
She would stay up and watch the 24 hour CNN coverage with me and just let me cry.
Everyone told me to stop watching.
But she understood.
I needed to know what was going on.
And she held my hand as we watched coverage at all hours of the night.

I leave to go back to Haiti on Saturday.
I’ll be working at an HIV/TB clinic in a tent in the parking lot of Portauprince General Hospital: one of the few, if not the only hospital that serves the public sector in Haiti.
But wait, the entire staff is currently on strike.
Therefore Portauprince Hospital is closed.
That is why I’ll be working out of a tent in the parking lot, next to the morgue.

Pray for us.
Haiti still needs our help and support.

Friday, August 19, 2011

to teach a man to fish....

So we began the day yesterday with a half day of med clinics.  Things went very smoothly and efficiently, and it always seems that right when we get it down to an art- that its time for the med team to leave, sigh.  But, regardless- the amount of patients we have been able to see from the first day to yesterday has nearly tripled since we were able to work out some kinks in the system.  There were several children that showed up to the clinic by themselves.  A little girl, just six years old, sticks out in my mind.  She waited outside the gate of Go-Haiti since about 545 am, to wait in line to see someone.  She traveled all the way here by herself, and explained what it was that was bothering her.  She had a staph infection on her scalp, and also had impetigo.  She was very sweet and smiling, and we were able to give her azythromycin and explain to her when and how to take it.  Crazy how a child so young can take care of themselves and be totally self-sufficient.  We tend to baby our children in the states, and Haiti is the exact opposite.  Regardless of how you feel about the situation, it just goes to show how truly capable children are of surviving when they are forced to.
This little boy came in with his mother, and was suffering from a staph infection on his face.  Here's what it looked like....
Because of everyone's generous donations and contributions, we had the available antibiotics on hand to give to this boy's mother free of charge- and this infection should clear up.

We also had our feeding program yesterday.  I am a huge fan of Paul Farmer, and those committed to truly changing Haiti.  I have read several books on their theories and beliefs of how this change can be implemented, and one major point Paul Farmer makes is not to just be another NGO (non-governmental organization) handing stuff out.  Whether it be food, clothing, hygiene products, ect he believes that Haitians have become completely dependent on non-profits here, and instead of working towards becoming self-sufficient several of them now wait for a hand out from these organizations.  Although this is not true across the board, I see where he is coming from.  There's that saying, "Feed a man a fish he's full for a day, teach a man to fish and he'll be full for a lifetime...."  It's such a powerful statement, and very true.  But, I also think there comes a point in your life where you just need a break, a word of encouragement, some type of uplifting to renew your strength and your faith and let you just carry on.  I believe our feeding program does this.  Every time we come down, we try to set one day aside and feed the people in the tent city a full plate of food.  Many of them haven't eaten in days, and life is just hard.  They are up against incredible obstacles that neither your nor I will ever understand.  I get that this feeding program will not save lives, it will not stop the hunger in Haiti, and it is not teaching Haitians to be self-sufficient.  Trust me- I get it.  But, we've all had those days where all we think is "can I just catch a break- some type of break" and this feeding program is just that.  A physical and mental break from the back-breaking labor and trials these people are forced to face daily.  We started off in a tent city, where we fed the children lunch.  Peanut butter sandwiches and Kool-Aid.

Many of these kids were left orphaned after the earthquake and are always left to fend for themselves.

The pastor of this tent city and his beautiful wife have poured every ounce of themselves into trying to improve living conditions here and provide encouragement to these people.  Here is the pastor, his wife, and two children..
When we left this tent city we went back to Go-Haiti's compound and prepared to feed the local community.  A generous donation allowed us to purchase enough food to feed hundreds of people a meal consisting of chicken, rice, a spicy creole sauce, and water.  Many of these people do not remember what it is like to have a full stomach, and they are so incredibly grateful.  We set up the projector and played some movies and cartoons for the people while they were waiting for food, and Gayepaye lead the worship songs along with Rachel on the guitar and Jon on the drums (an empty water container with a stick).  It was such an awesome night. ...

There was a little girl that got Dr. Franco's attention during the feeding.  She had hurt her toe and the skin was raw, and the toenail had fallen off.  She was wearing sandals and her feet were filthy. I brought her inside and did the best I could to clean it up and bandage it.  She was the sweetest little girl.  She said "merci madam" when I was finished and I said "you're welcome" and she just stood there staring at me...contemplating her next move.  She then starting kissing my face all over and my eyes started to swell up..yup, it always happens.  She brought me to tears.  She was so grateful for this simple act that I would come down here whenever, at the drop of a dime solely for a moment like that.  Here is the little girl...
It is not a human right 
to stand not fight
while broken nations dream
open up our eyes so blind
that we might find
the Mercy for the need

I woke up this morning and went to the pharmacy to try and purchase some antibiotics we ran out of.  It took us nearly 2 hours to get there, and we just sat and waited. and waited. and waited. and then waited some more.  It was to the point where I just wanted to walk out, but then I made myself think of the people who would use and need this medication.  There is absolutely no sense of time in Haiti at all, and waiting a half-day or an entire day in a pharmacy is pretty much expected.  It made me have this new found appreciation for my local CVS.

We returned back to the property where the guys were building the second soccer goal post out of sticks and a volleyball net.  It came out far better than anyone would have imagined.  I'll try and take pictures for the next blog, but needless to say, the boys went nuts.  It's an all-out soccer tournament here all day long.  Dustin, the camera guy from Fox 61 left this morning with Sarah French, Sara O, and Joannie and surprised Gayepaye by videotaping them playing soccer and making a short video out of it and uploading it onto Gayepaye's computer.  He was so psyched, he must have watched it 30 times this morning.  Thank you Dustin.  That was incredibly thoughtful and brought a huge smile to all the boy's faces.

It torrential down-poured late afternoon in the middle of med clinics, and I decided it would be the perfect time to do an outdoor shower in the rain again.  Since there are so many people here, we can only shower every other day, but on my day off there always seems to be a hard-core rain shower in the late afternoon.  The rain was so strong I was able to wash and condition my hair...and for all of you that know me..I have a lot of hair.  It's now about 9pm and I'm laying out in the rope hammock.  My cloth one is drenched, and Sarah left this one here.  Unless it starts raining again, I'm staying out here on the damp hammock because that pool raft in the medical closet is brutal :)

Tomorrow we have the day off and are going to Kaliko Beach, leaving at 5am.  I am really looking forward to a day of relaxing and just spending some quality time with my good friends here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Take time to reflect....

As I sit on a stone ledge next to the soccer field, its about 630 pm in Haiti.  The sun in setting, there is an all-out soccer tournament going on, a little boy next to me named Michael is playing Michael Jackson's "Man in The Mirror" and life is good.  Gayepaye is next to me with his laptop pretending to blog too.
Today was definitely a busy day.  We began the day with med clinics starting around 7 am.  We had some people returning from yesterday who we either didn't get a chance to see or didn't have the medication they needed readily available.  We brain-stormed every way that we could make the med clinics as efficient as possible because there were so many needs, so many people, and such little time.  A major obstacle was the supply closet.  Several people brought down so many medications that hadn't been sorted through or categorized and it needed to be done.  Although I love being out either in triage or with Dr. Franco diagnosing- I felt that getting the med closet organized would definitely make a huge difference and move patients through the clinic faster.  It was quite the project.  40 barrels had also shipped from the states, many filled with supplies that needed to be sorted through.  I began around 730 working with Amy, and finished around 11am.  Here's what the end product looks like:

Don't mind the hot pink pool's what I slept on last night because it was torrential downpouring and my hamock was soaked.  I'd always anticipated having a well-stocked med closet, but never did I think it would happen this fast.  We have such an awesome variety of antibiotics, and tons of infant formula and vitamins.  These supplies will have such a major impact on the people who live in this community.  They have no access to any type of healthcare at all, and its definitely a great start.  As more teams come down, we can add to it and make a list of other items that are still needed.  Jon and Ted worked hard to make more shelves for us to use in the clinic, and hopefully by the end of the week we'll have two more in there.

Amy has been giving the children at Go-Haiti anti-fungal topical head treatment for ringworm- many of the children have it, and if they don't- they're still being treated prophylactically anyways because it is so contagious.  Here is Michael getting his head scrubbed:

At the clinic today and yesterday we saw a variety of patients.  Yesterday, a teenage boy came in with burns from a motorcycle.  Here's what it looked like...

Joannie, a nurse from California, had worked in a burn unit for years and was able to dress his wound multiple times throughout the day.  He also came back today to get his dressing changed.

An older man in his seventies came into the clinic today, and originally they thought he suffered just from a stroke.  His gait was very uneven, he seemed hypoglycemic, and needed help to walk.  When they lifted up his pant leg, he had a serious leg wound that he had sustained over a year ago with a pick-axe.  He had poor medical treatment for the past year, and the wound desperately needed to be cleaned.  While Joannie cleaned it out and wrapped it, Amy helped clean his fingernails and soaked his toenails. I was able to get him food and a drink, while Ted spoke to him in French to assess how much pain he was in and what we could do to lessen his suffering. Sitting back watching this in action was just awesome.  Everyone on this team is incredibly compassionate.
Here is what the man's leg looked like before we treated it....

We went to PAP General Hospital today to drop off some supplies.  The hospital was on strike and there were no physicians or nurses there at all to treat the patients.  We were told they have been on strike for nearly 2 months.  We visited patients who had been there for almost 9 months, and are just waiting for someone....anyone to come and assess their condition.  It is incredibly sad.  This is the main hospital that people are supposed to go to to get treatment...& now there is no staff at all.

After leaving the General Hospital, again- you feel so helpless.  What can you do to change all of this?  And that oh so famous question...where'd all the donated money go?  One can ponder these questions forever.

But in the midst of all of this, it is vital to just take a step back and truly appreciate everything we have in our lives. We are so quick to always want more and be unsatisfied with what we have.  We are always comparing ourselves to what others have, and strive to get the next best thing in life.  It is always incorporated in my prayers to truly be thankful and satisfied with what I have in life- regardless of what I may or may not have.  Our culture breeds greed and doing whatever it takes to get to wherever you want to be and that is definitely not what life is intended to be.  A part of why I truly appreciate going to Haiti is just the opportunity to serve others.  So cliche, but it is so much more fulfilling to be totally selfless, and put all your worries, wants, and needs aside- and just help others. 

Matthew 25:35 " For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me..."

Tomorrow after med clinic, VBS, and construction projects we will be feeding people in the tent city and in the local community.  It's always one of my favorite parts of the trips because you get to spend time and bring a smile to these people's faces.

Here are some more pictures....
Hard-core soccer tournament

 Dance party in the rain...

 The babies eating breakfast....
My little lovebug Olry eating breakfast posing for the camera....

My good friend Debbie arrived here nearly a week after I did, and since some of us are sleeping outside I asked her to bring lights so we could see if we had to get up during the looks so pretty out here tonight...

Tomorrow should be another awesome day in Haiti :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

St. Marc Hospital

So I'm currently laying in a hammock, covered in a neon pink mosquito net, hanging way too high up because we adjusted the ropes earlier, listenng to a church service located nearby to the property. I can hear just about every word. It still is so amazing to me that although these people have next to nothing, some haven't eaten in days, but yet they worship God so whole-heartedly and enthusiastically. The first time I went to a church service in Haiti it just blew my mind. If only we could worship 1/5th of what they do. When they sing, I instantaneously get goosebumps.

 If only we had one ounce of their faith.

I picked up Sara French and Sarah Orsheln yesterday at PAP airport. I've only met Sarah French once prior to her coming out here when she interviewed me on Fox 61. How awesome is it that she and her friend were not only willing, but wanting to come to Haiti to serve. A lot of people say they want to come, many with the best of intentions, but these 2 ladies who barely know me hopped on a plane, took off from work, and it is so apparent how excited they are to be here.  I'm exhausted so I'll need to finish this blog at some point tomorrow. Sweet Dreams...

Saturday August 13th
     We woke up around 5am today to head to St. Marc hospital.  The last time I had been there was nearly four years ago now and I was praying some improvement had taken place.  We arrived at the hospital in record time, since traffic is usually standstill by about 9am.  Dr. Franco explained that today would be more of an observational day because he wanted to talk with the Director of the hospital to try to arrange having the children that are left at the hospital to be sent to Go-Haiti.  We had also packed 4 pieces of luggage full of extra donated medical supplies that we would not be able to use on this particular trip.
We started off in the Female Internal Medicine Unit, where about 1/3 of the patients were suffering with end-stage AIDS.  One woman was so severely deteriorated that she was in a coma, and couldn't respond to any outside stimuli.  Dr. Franco tried to speak with her and see if we could do anything for her, but she didn't respond.  Almost all of the IV's were either not connected, the bag was empty, the line infiltrated, or just totally useless.  Myself, Amy, and Dr. Franco adjusted a couple that we saw- but it was again very discouraging.  There were no physicians present on this unit when we were there so we took the liberty to adjust things accordingly as needed.
We then went into the post-op unit where there were a lot of orthopedic patients.  Many patients had pins and different devices attached to their limbs, and were in a lot of pain.  I noticed a woman with an empty chlorox bottle filled with sand, attached to a string, which was attached to a wooden board on her ankle...kind of?  What the heck kind of contraption was that....oh wait...that was supposed to be traction!  The weighted container was laying on the bed, providing no type of traction at all- and the woman's bandage hadn't been changed in weeks.  Dr. Franco went over to try and adjust the traction but there was just no fixing it- so we removed all of it and started again from scratch.  The woman's leg was so thin it was just bone- and the gauze had melted onto her skin since the hospital had no AC and no fans.  There were flies everywhere.  The unit had no tape to reinforce the bandage, so we used Sara's neon yellow duct tape to put over the ace bandage wrap.  Yes, that's right- duct tape in a hospital to apply to a sand weighted empty chlorox bottle which was supposed to be traction.  Re-read this again, try to picture it, and take it all in.  It's completely unreal.  From a medical perspective- totally unacceptable and alarming.
    We then headed over to the pediatric unit.  I always struggle with this one.  These children are so helpless and so innocent, and the fact that they have no choice but to lay in the 110 degree hospital while getting next-to-know care breaks my heart.  We talked with a young boy that they suspected had Cholera- he had a fever, abdominal pain, headache, and diarrhea for the past several days.  Again, his IV was infiltrated, his fluids were not running, and they were doing absolutely nothing for him.  It takes everything in me not to take these kids back go Go-Haiti and do something- I don't know what, just something.  I'm still figuring that part out.  I dream of the day that we have a state-of-the-art medical hospital with sterile tools, and well-trained physicians and nurses, and can provide optimal care for minimal or no charge at all.  Where there will be an air conditioned room that can provide some type of relief for these individuals suffering, and meals provided for them daily.  Currently, if a patient doesn't have a family member bring them food on a daily basis, they don't eat, and eventually starve to death- even the children.  From my perspective, the hospital is a place to go to to die, not to get better.  People go there with false hopes and are never really told that they are getting maintenance care- if even that.
The hardest part of the day was going to I guess what they would consider the Pediatric Premature Infant Unit.  I have never seen such small babies.  They didn't even look real.  A father was there next to his baby's crib and told us the story of how how wife passed away during labor, and how he has three other children at home and is having great difficulty taking care of them.  The baby was born very early, and has been hospitalized since birth.  This is a picture of his son:
Across from this baby, was another premature baby that was probably not even a pound.  They believed he was not only premature, but that his mother had AIDS when she gave birth to him, and probably had no prenatal care.   Here is how tiny he was:

This baby was under a heat lamp, on top of being in 110+ degree weather, and the temperature of the lamp wasn't regulated at all.  He was  not hooked up to any oxygen, the IV line wasn't patent, and he struggled to breathe with every breath he took.  We attempted to try and feed him through a syringe...

He had absolutely no sucking capability at all, and consumed next to nothing.
Again, I silently racked my brain as to what could be done.  Could we try to see if we could take him back to Go-Haiti to provide better care?  Wait...could we provide better care?  Well, I know we wouldn't put him under a heat lamp and he'd get tons of love and attention.  No, Kim you can't just take a baby out of a hospital. what next?  There was no other answers I could come up with.  Again, I held back the tears because this baby didn't appear like he had much longer to live at all.  I watched his chest rise and fall, and him struggle each and every time it did.

I pray that when I return to St. Marc again that this child would have taken a miraculous turn for the better.
Acts 4:30 "Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders....."

Here are some pictures of a few of the other babies at the hospital:

This little girl is suffering from a kidney disorder, and just from looking at her, you can tell she has a crazy amount of excess fluid volume.  She was sitting on a piece of wood outside the hospital, not being seen by anyone, and just looked so distraught.  I went over to try and talk to her, but she was very resistant.

Keep all of these children and patients at St. Marc Hospital in your prayers. There is so much work that needs to be done there, and not enough money or help to even come close to achieving it.
We drove about 3 hours back to Go-Haiti, and when we arrived Duvall was teaching the kids a Bible story.  It immediately brought a smile to my face because he is so animated and the children were so into it.

Well, I'm done blogging for the day.  There's a serious soccer tourament going on outside, Gaypaye is goalie and has already sustained one injury that he came running in here and we bandaged, and I should go monitor the kiddos.
Keep us all in your prayers.  Looking forward to picking up Jon Cooke from the airport tomorrow to join the team :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

and so the miracles continue....

We met Stephen, who lived in the tent city located adjacent to Go-Haiti's property back in January.  He came to the compound to get clean water, when I noticed a bandage on his thumb.  I removed it, and yelled for Dr. Franco immediately.  This is what it looked like:
We weren't even sure if the thumb was fixable- it was covered with necrotic tissue and there was no longer a fingernail.  We made a documentary of the last trip where we performed surgery with Dr. Franco on Stephen's thumb- it's located at if you scroll to the bottom left of the home page, Stephen's story is the last third of the documentary.  We were only able to do any type of follow-up care with Stephen for five days after the surgery because we then returned home.   Soon after we left there was a fire in the tent city, and everyone living there (nearly 500 individuals) were displaced yet again.  I came down in April and didn't see Stephen at all.  After speaking with Dr. Franco prior to coming down here this time, we discussed how we had to find him and see how his thumb is healing.  So I am running around this morning attempting to set up another water day for the kids since the scorching 100 + degree weather is unbearable, and Franco goes "hey kim...look who it is!?!"  I couldn't believe my eyes- Stephen was back!  I immediately grabbed his hand, and he had a healed, fully functioning thumb....with a nail!!!  Wait, did I grab the wrong hand?  This kid must think I'm nuts.  I grabbed his other one.  Then I grabbed both of them.  No way- you couldn't even tell which hand he had slammed into an iron gate on purpose.  I couldn't stop hugging him, and he just smiled.  Stephen doesn't understand a word of English.  In fact, he was mortified when we did the surgery because he truly believed we were amputating his thumb the entire time.  Here is what his thumb looks like as of today:

An absolute miracle.  The fact that his infection didn't spread, or the surgical site get infected while living in a tent city with absolutely no clean, running water to change the dressing daily or any type of antibiotics available is not just luck.  It's an absolute miracle.

It was so hot today, and the babies at the orphanage just looked so tired and worn down from the heat.  We set up both baby pools, with two slip-n-slides, and they went nuts.  At one point, there were 15 kids in two baby pools.  I'm not going to lie- I also went in.  I couldn't take the heat anymore, and all the kids kept chanting my name " come in??" So I jumped in with all my clothes on, and let me tell you, that was the smartest thing I've done since I've been here.  Working the rest of the day with soaking wet clothes and hair is the way to stay a little less hot.
Towards the end of the day, we decided to try to give the workers here at Go-Haiti a break, and had the kids wash up in the pools instead of having to come inside to shower.  My mother packed baby shampoo in the checked luggage, which was genius on her part, and the kids loved showering in the pool.  They were adorable.

David also began teaching his welding class today.  He collected several different tools and welding supplies in order to hold classes every day, open to anyone who wanted to come, completely free of charge.  Go-Haiti is an advocate of teaching Haitians to be self-sufficient, and starting a trade school is something we are determined to do.  This is just the beginning.

Pete Zipf, who is here with his entire family (which is absolutely amazing to begin with), came up with the idea of building bunk beds.  There are another 25 volunteers coming down next week, and it would not only be a place for them to stay, but then the kids would have brand new beds as well.  Here's everyone hard at work.

And the best of all of this, Stephen took the sand paper out of my hand to help out :)

Another absolutely incredibly day in Haiti.  Everyday here I am reminded of so many things in life.  I will try to share a few of those with you. 
We went in to eat lunch today, and Gayepaye came and sat next to me.  The children eat before the adults, so I knew he had already eaten.  When I had finished, there was hardly anything left on the plate.  I put my napkins on it, and headed to the garbage.  Gayepaye grabbed my arm and shook his head.  I put the plate down and he ate every last bit of food on it.  He sucked on the chicken bone for quite some time.  I just sat there watching him.  It is so easy to forget that most of these children were raised with food being a luxury, and not having daily meals.  When Gayepaye's mother passed away from Tuberculosis when he was just 5 years old, he walked to the orphanage alone to ask if he could stay there.  I always wonder how many days he went without asking for help or wandering around aimlessly and scared.  He is such a little man, and always has been.  We take for granted that we have access to food and three meals a day anytime we want.  It really made me take a step back and just put certain things in my life back into perspective.  I always say Haiti is my reality check that I need and wish I could always have on a daily basis.

I will leave you with this poem that I found when trying to locate where I could get Paul Farmer's new book.  The words are incredibly powerful, and yet, very true.  It's by Eduardo Galeano:

Fleas dream of buying themselves a dog, and nobodies dream
of escaping poverty: that one magical day good luck will
suddenly rain down on them- will rain down in buckets. But
good luck doesn't even fall in a fine drizzle, no matter
how hard the nobodies summon it, even if their left hand is
tickling, or if they begin the new day with their right foot, or
start the new year with a change of brooms.
The nobodies: nobody's children, owners of nothing. The
nobodies: the no ones, the nobodied, running like rabbits,
dying through life, screwed every which way.
Who don't speak languages, but dialects.
Who don't have religions, but superstitions.
Who don't create art, but handicrafts.
Who don't have culture, but folklore.
Who are not human beings, but human resources.
Who do not have names, but numbers.
Who do not appear in the history of the world, but in the
police blotter of the local paper.
The nobodies, who are not worth the bullet that kills them

It is sad to say but many people view abject poverty and the people who are forced to live in it exactly this way.  It breaks my heart that people think that we are any different than the average Haitian- or anyone living in a third world country.  The only difference is where you were born.  These "nobodys" written about in this poem are somebody. I see the children here at this orphanage and the amount of potential they have is endless- full of such life, talent, and love- regardless of the circumstances of where they were found or brought here by.  The words of this poem are incredibly powerful.  Many of these children were brought into this world deemed worthless, left for dead, abandoned, and forced to figure out how to survive in life way too early on.
The only comfort I find when I think about awful life must have been for most of the babies Psalm 68:5..."I will be a father to the fatherless..." & the children here at Go-Haiti are taught that they have a heavenly father who loves them for eternity.

I will leave you with some funny photos from today that I hope bring a smile to your face: