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Day Three: Petionville

Time moves simultaneously slow and fast in Haiti. Slow, as it is very hot and dusty, with legions of mosquitoes sucking what at times feels like every pint of blood out of you. Your clothes always stick to you. You always feel dirty. I always stink, I feel.
Fast, as it is already night, after yet another full and fulfilling day.
I am too tired to recount the day’s events accurately. But it began at the Village of Hope with the kids there, and hearing them sing, and share a service with us. Finally, we begin to see the fruits of labors spent in two days of unpacking boxes of food, some spoiled and none too pleasant. The reward in the eyes and smiles of children who receive the meals.
Then, Odney Jean, our driver, took us up to Petionville, the epicenter of January’s quake. Words cannot describe the wreck and ruin. No tears, no human, I think to myself this afternoon. Yet, humanity teems all around us. The people are grateful for what very very very little they have. They show love and grace, for the most part. At least the people we meet. I am sure it is not always thus, but I am grateful for those we meet. And perhaps more grateful than ever for what I have; what we, the group, have.
These are remarkable people. These are people full of faith and grace. These are people I am proud to be blessed with their kindness and friendship. There are people I won’t forget or loose touch with. This has been a remarkable day. Tomorrow promises even more wonder. We go to the school, and a school for severly handicapped kids. We’ve worked hard to provide them with what little we have to offer in the way of food, fellowship, and I know, love. In our hearts and theirs. We are blessed to be here. We cannot forget.
I wish the world would not forget Haiti as fast as they seem to have. It is here. As Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil sang, “There is a Haiti, there is no Haiti.” It makes total sense.