I'm a little afraid
or trying to put the words together to describe our trip.
Afraid because there is no way to paint Haiti through a blogpost or a couple thousand of them to help anyone understand.
Afraid because my emotions are raw.
I want to be able to write, but I'm afraid I'll say something wrong...that some self-proclaimed Haiti specialist or longtime resident will read this and think I'm an idiot.
I went to Haiti for four days. I'm not claiming to be an expert. I know very little about Haiti. In all honesty, four days in Haiti has made me wonder if I know anything about anything.
It seems all the rage to talk about what will fix Haiti. That thought makes my mind numb. That's like asking someone to sweep away all the sand at the sea.
I don't know what will fix Haiti. I didn't go there with that question in mind. Even my type A, let's fix this, Bob the Builder personality realized within 1 hour of being in Haiti...there may not be a way to fix this.
Imagine the Bob the Builder song blaring loudly...boldly...then you look out on miles of broken homes and tent cities and that song suddenly sounds like..."Bob the Builder...Can we fix this? Bob the Builder...wha-wha...
I know many people...sweet friends who have been to Haiti.
Visiting the country is always difficult. Coming home, even harder.
I'm not wanting to minimize anyone's experience in Haiti by the words that I say here.
I'm praying for a lot of grace.
I keep wondering if I would be able to recover better today, at home in the life that is familiar to me if our trip last week was just that...a trip...a visit.
But our trip was a little different.
From the moment I entered the country the soundtrack playing in the back of my mind was this odd ditty that went a little something like this...
"This is where you're coming to live, Heather...this is where you're bringing your boys...this country will be your new home...the setting of your new life."
I saw Haiti through the lens of "a long time" instead of through the eyes of a visitor.
Can I live here?
Can I bring our boys here?
Can I do this?
The short answer is this...
I went to Haiti hoping that it was going to be worse than I had imagined. I have a great imagination. I excel in creeping myself right out, scaring the crap out of myself and daydreaming up new, exciting identities. A few weeks ago, I had it all worked out in my mind what our life would look like, down to the fabric on my couch, if I became a politician.
I was hoping to leave Haiti and be able to tell my friends I had totally siked myself out. It's not going to be as hard to live in Haiti as I thought. I can totally do this.
What I went there to find, and what I came home with turned out to be different things.
It will be a lot harder to live in Haiti than I thought.
Everything I thought would be difficult has the potential to be terrible.
One and a half hours on an airplane and we found ourselves on what felt like another planet.
I kept asking myself if I just got off an airplane or a rocket.
A few steps outside the airport gates and the "not like your world" seemed to climb me.
24 hours in Haiti and I felt raped by the poverty and overcome by rage that all the king's horses and all the king's men are not putting Haiti back together again. My ears longed to hear the sound of horse hooves...the rhythmic, pounding that sounded like comfort and meant someone was on the way. In that noisy city the sound of rescue is silent.
There is no one coming.
The short answer...
We're going, but it's going to be a lot harder than I thought.
The long answer...
That will take some time to tell.