Haiti Day 1 - The Kindness of Strangers

Today I trusted that all that is good in the world (God, Universe, the Force- for my my Star Wars chums) would bring my son, my friend and I safely to one of the more unstable parts of the world. Haiti held it's elections this week. With allegations of voter fraud, there is general unrest in the population including riots and protests. We didn't know what to expect, but what we found was kindness.

We landed this afternoon in Port-Au-Prince (PAP), Haiti, with donated supplies and medications. There was a very good chance that customs officials were going to confiscate or charge a "tax" to bring them into the country. The thought of whether they would steal our supplies or charge a tax too high for me to afford weighed on my mind all day. As we waited for our bags, I anticipated  the confrontation with customs. It never came. We walked out of the airport and into the welcoming arms of one of most gentle people I have ever met, Frisner Pierre. He is a professor at one of the few universities in PAP and is dedicated to bettering his country through education. He had the biggest smile on his face and called out our names, one by one, as if he had known us all of his life. He helped us to his car where we met with my next connection, Rachel Zimmerman of We Care Haiti. She had purchased antibiotics and liquid medications at wholesale cost for our trip. She and her right-hand man, Duckenson, helped load the car. When I went to pay her, she told me an anonymous donor had paid for them already. Wow. She then lead us in a prayer in the parking lot. For those of you that know me, praying openly is not in my comfort zone. And yet, here I was holding hands with strangers whose compassion and kindness had drawn them to work in the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. Really beautiful people living their faith. Tikkun Olam - repairing the world. 

When we drove to Frisner's home, we wove through the insanity that is Haitian traffic and arrived at a serene setting at the top of a hill. A lovely home with everything set up for us. We had a great meal of fish, chicken, vegetables, rice, lentils (Haitian hospitality is really amazing). We had a lovely conversation and the kindness continued.

After dinner, we began to unpack all of the supplies and donations we had been given. It was pretty overwhelming. How could so many people have donated separately to create the miracle I was seeing before me? We started the arduous task of separating the medications and packing them with instructions in snack bags. It took most of the evening but we have our first clinic day meds ready. Tomorrow we will rest in Jacmel (coastal town) prior to starting in the clinics on Monday.

Goodnight to all of you kind, beautiful, people in my life. I feel blessed by all of you.