According to the Weather Channel this afternoon “Leogane, which was the epicenter of last January’s 7.0 earthquake, is now quite possibly the worst place on earth.”
It makes my heart break. I am watching the videos and seeing the pictures and even though I know that MY kids are safe, I can’t help but imagine those who are not.
Last August I went to a tent city built among the tombs of a local graveyard. I was there to pick up a little boy who was being given for adoption. His mother changed her mind and I walk away and left him there. I wonder if he is alive tonight.
I wonder if that little boy was safe last night, or if he was among those swept away by the angry waters that fill this very street right now.
Next door to the orphanage is the remaining foundation of a home, and a 10 month old tent perched on top. I wonder where they are sleeping tonight.
Every day when I leave the orphanage I pass a small tent city filled with children. They always run out to watch me. A brave few even reach out to touch my pale arm as I pass. They yell blanc, over time some of them have learned my name. They are the faces that I saw when I stared at the photos on the news today. Little, fragile lives that have seen too much. Many of them don’t even remember what life was like before January. Maybe some of them are among the “people dying all around me” that Jeanel referred to today. I have no idea but I can’t turn my mind off to the wondering.
Leogane might be the “worst place on earth” it might be hell in the minds of some but everything within me is crying out to be there, to run towards this pain and instead of away. Imagine the faces of the people you pass in your hometown every day, now think about something so horrible happening that it left that entire town in shambles. Imagine you had no choice but to sit and watch it unfold on television. Would you be thankful to be away, or longing to be there and REALLY know what’s going on. These are my neighbors, my friends, the families of the babies that I hold. No, I’m not glad I’m here where it was safe, I would give anything to be there with them.
My work in Leogane is not just with 32 children that live in my house. It extends to the nannies who work with us and their families at home. It is the interactions I have with the taxi drivers and street vendors on our street. It is the people that I pass as I go about my daily errands. It is all of them and now, once again they are miserable and hurting. Once again I am sitting by helpless.