What is it about Haiti that pulls me back? Tomorrow I leave on my fourth trip this year to a country I have only read about. I go to help and to try to make a difference in someone's life, if only for a little while, but why Haiti? Aren't there plenty of other countries/cultures just as poor, just as destitute? Wouldn't the gratification of helping be just as great somewhere else? Yes and no.
All one has to do is look beneath the surface to see the incredible need of an impoverished people in many countries worldwide. All need help and most would welcome it. Whole lives have been devoted to service to these peoples and have been richer because of their selfless devotion. So why go to Haiti? Why go back to Haiti?
I don't have a good answer. I believe that I never chose Haiti. Haiti was chosen for me. If it were left to me, I probably would have chosen Guatemala, Nicarauga or some other Central American impoverished area where at least I could have attempted to speak their language, but Creole seems almost impossible for me to learn. How can you help if you can't communicate? Yet, Haiti has shown me that a smile, a touch and a hug bridges more peoples than words. If I do nothing more than hold a sick child, I feel bonded.
While destitute, with their infrastructure in shambles and garbage in the streets, the beauty of Haiti is in their people. Their faith, their indestructible spirit, their sense of community, their friendly open hearts draws me back. I hear their voices and I see their faces every day. I feel their hugs even when I'm home and I know they've become a part of me.
Why do I go back?--- because there is a friend who needs help. How could I do otherwise?