The last few days have been tense, to say the least. As far as the rest of Haiti is concerned, Leogane has been quiet. A few manifestations yesterday when the results were announced and now just waiting. Everywhere you look there are people just waiting. Groups of women huddle between tents, listening to handheld radios, whispering, sometimes crying. Young men gather around television sets, shouting over what is being said, staring silently and again, crying. Really, there are a lot of people crying. They are angry yes. They have been tricked and lied to, they are mad because no one is listening. They are angry because they are completely powerless. But among them, more than anger is a deep despair. For 12 long months we have been holding our breath, waiting for something to give, waiting for something to change. For a lot of that time people have looked to this election for a bit of hope. After waiting so long, for a last resort of sorts, it’s all the same. Yes, they are sad. I’m sad too.
After much debate and communication with other missions and our director back home it was decided that I should try and make my way to Port Au Prince to be nearer to the airport. I know, going from a place that is eerily silent and calm, to the heart of the country in turmoil doesn’t make a ton of sense but after weighing the pros and cons and going over every possible outcome I did realize that staying here where it is safe for now, is just not wise. One of our adoptive families has a contact in Port Au Prince who has a clinic here in Leogane, they have a car that will try to travel to Leogane late tonight or early tomorrow morning to bring 4 other people back to Delmas. They have agreed to take me with them. They have a guest house where I will stay until I am able to fly to the States, or return safely to Leogane. Right now this is the only guarantee I have for getting to Port, even this is not a guarantee… if they make it through, I will go. I have had a plane ticket to leave on Tuesday for the last 6 weeks. I have planed to spend a week with my family and celebrate Christmas. I don’t know if the airport will be open when Tuesday comes around. I don’t know if I will be on that flight, I don’t know if I am, when I will be able to get back here. The only thing I know is that after 3 days of weighing possibilities and changing my mind that I need to do what everyone feels is best.
Last January when American’s were evacuated after the earthquake I did not leave. Right now, making this choice to do so is killing me. It surely doesn’t seem right. However, last January I was in a place with several other foreign people. We had someone there to tell us what to do, what not to do and if we were truly safe. Although I feel like I am safe right now, I have no idea what is about to happen and I am alone. I am the only American in our “mission”. I do not have a car and driver to take me where I need to go. I do not have other people here to bounce all of this off of. I just have to commit to doing what is logical, even if it is breaking my heart.
I know everyone here is fine. In fact, maybe they will be better off without me here for the next little while. There is a lot more pressure on them, as much as I fight it, when I am around. They go out of their way to make sure that I am taken care of and without that strain I think that everyone will breath a little easier. The daily schedule may not be kept as closely as I would have done, and the English classes will slack while I am away but when it is all over, everyone will be ok. This staff is more than capable of making sure that the kids are fed, cared for and loved. Usually when I leave I make a paper chain for the kids to use and a countdown for when I will be back. I am not doing that tonight, not because I don’t plan to return, but because I could never make them a promise that I can’t keep. I told them I am going but that I will be back, I don’t know when, but I will! My prayer is that things will calm down soon. I pray that I will come to The States, spend some much needed time with family and friends and come back to have Christmas Day with my babies, like I had planned. I pray, but I have to loosen my grip a little and allow myself to trust that no matter the outcome in the next few weeks, I will be exactly where I need to be the most.
Now I am off to read bedtime stories and tuck everyone into bed. I will cherish these moments and I’m sure, relive them a lot in the nights to come.