It is Saturday in SW Haiti, and I am taking a few minutes to reflect on the last two days. Travel on Thursday was as planned. We arrived at the Les Cayes airport at 5:40PM and Cambry shortly thereafter.
Cambry was intact and was a beehive of activity. Pastor Louis is directing the distribution of food, water, and medical supplies, and we are hosting partners who are serving the community in various ways. People and provisions are coming and going from early in the morning until late in the evening. It is encouraging to see so many working so hard to relieve the suffering all around us.
Yesterday, we spent the day at Camp Perrin, about 45 minutes north of our base at Cambry. I struggle to communicate the depth of the suffering we saw there. Donald, a young man in his twenties, is left to raise his two-month-old son and appeared to be in a fog of despair after losing his wife when their family home collapsed. An older woman, widowed by her husband’s death in the quake, allowed us to use her front yard as a makeshift clinic to serve her neighbors. She was holding a two-year-old baby girl whose father also died in the carnage.
Home after home after home lay in shambles. Those who survived were trying to figure out the next steps for food and shelter. A lucky few already had tents and tarps, but most were not so fortunate. The road was warped and twisted, and one lane had collapsed entirely down the mountain in a few places. Suffice it to say that Camp Perrin was a wasteland.
At the clinic, our first case was a 14-year-old boy named Steven whose forearm had been ripped to the bone by a piece of tin hanging off a truck that had just passed by him. Our Haitian physician, Dr. Sony, sewed him up masterfully under a tarp in the pouring rain. Esaie, our 6th year Medical student, had the suture kit that we needed in his backpack. Watching them calmly treat this terrible wound on this brave young man in the middle of this devastation, as the rain poured off the tarp, was an experience that will likely never leave me. No matter the blow, whether a random accident that threatened Steven’s arm or an earthquake that took countless lives and continues to threaten thousands more, the Haitian people simply persevere. Oh God, that you would make me more like them.
All the best to all of you from SW Haiti,
Roger and Angela
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