I can hear the children of Cite Soleil crying for attention, “Hey You!” I turn and their arms are raised up for me to pull them up into an embrace. They so long to be held and gently loved, even if just for a moment before I have to release them back to their impoverished life. Their eyes wide with hope and despair as I have no choice but to turn and leave them behind. They have followed me home however, as they fill my dreams as I sleep. I can hear their voices, feel their hands in mine, and I can see their eyes as they speak of horrors I don’t want to hear. I can feel their ground of dirt, rocks, garbage and mushed in human waste underneath my feet as I walk with them clinging to me, and I myself cling to them. If only I could blink my eyes shut to their poverty and open them again to some sort of affluence. The best I can do, which is not nearly enough, but for the moment maybe it is, is to hold them close, give them a sense of love, security, and safety, and just for a moment, may they know that somebody cares.
My streets back home are filled with BMWs, Mercedes, Mustang Convertibles and the like, as they rev up their engines waiting for the light to turn green and waiting for those who run the red lights to finish up their hurried and risky ways. I had a hot shower this morning. I wanted to turn the water off. So I did. I ran it cooler after that. The restaurants and bars are filled with laughter as people mingle about with jolly conversations, none of which relate to the poverty of Haiti. I cannot converse. I go home early.
I went to work. On the way to work I wandered through my knotted stomach and tear stained cheeks wishing I were back in Haiti, wishing I had a young child in my arms and another holding my hand, wishing I could be there to give them another moment of very needed love. Instead, I was dressed for work and preparing to teach young college students. I taught them about poverty, humanity, and the value of water. The rest of the week I have kept to myself for the most part. I’m looking ahead. What can I do? How can I do more than 4 suitcases? There has to be more I can do.