Returning this week from my 26th trip to Haiti, I was reminded that it is my turn to write the Forward in Health Inc. Blog. As I reflected on my 11 years of service to the poorest country in our hemisphere the stories of my experiences seemed endless. However one period of time, one medical trip, stands out.
As I consider what to share, my thoughts brought me back to the horrific earthquake of 2010, when upwards of 250 thousand Haitian were lost. Forward in Health was called upon and responded with 2 medical teams within 3 weeks of the earthquake. I recall riding in the back of a pickup truck, just outside of the epicenter of the quake. My team and I were trying to get to a “make shift” hospital set up at a school, to provide whatever medical care that we could. The country was in chaos, its’ people were devastated; death and destruction overwhelmed even the most seasoned medical traveler.
I had travelled this road many times in the past. Young Haitian children would often come out of their homes and point and laugh at the “Blans” (white people) riding in the back of a pickup truck. At this time of crisis and devastation, however, thing were a bit different. Young Haitian children that now lived on the streets, some in tents, some in lean-tos, once again came out to yell at the “Blans” but this time they were not laughing or pointing, they were yelling in perfect English, “Thank You and God Bless You”. Comfort and thanks was given to those of us that were there to comfort. Simple words that meant so much.
So to all of you who follow the Forward in Health Blog, support the organization, travel with us to Haiti, pray for us while we are gone, I will say what the Haitian children have taught me.
Thank You and God Bless You.