From a cancelled flight, a two hour drive to Rochester in a snow storm, a delayed flight to Chicago, a 2 hour delayed flight to Miami followed by 2 hours of sleep to catch a routine flight to Haiti, our team couldn't have been in better spirits. To a person, everyone was upbeat, excited and anxious to step into a world we have only read about.
Haiti is an onslaught on the senses. It is a country of extremes. There is massive poverty and destruction yet there is great beauty. From a gorgeous flowering tree growing amidst the earthquake rubble to the inner beauty reflected every Haitian face in the slums of Cite Soleil.
With 80% unemployment, Haitians are faced with great challenges just to obtain the basic necessities. Life is a struggle, yet they have chosen to be happy. Everywhere we went we were met with smiles, waves and people whose faces light up when you talk to them. Most can't speak English, yet a smile is a great communicator.
Our first day involved delivering water to the people in the slums of Cite Soleil. It can best be described as organized chaos as people jockey for a position in line to get the water they desperately need. Maybe because the water deliveries are so important, they treated us with respect and were very grateful for our help and Healing Haiti's help in bringing it to them.
On our way back to the guest house, some members of our party were quiet, reflecting on what we had just experienced. Others talked excitedly on who they had met and what they had seen.