There's something about the airport in Port Au Prince that feels totally removed from Haiti. Oftentimes the air-conditioning is cranked so high that I need a sweater. There are usually more while people than brown, and they serve cheeseburgers…. Part of me feels like passing through the security line is much more like leaving Haiti that the moment that the plane leave the ground.
Right now I am sitting "in Haiti” with my computer plugged into the wall beside me. No worries about generators, inverters or EDH giving me power. I am still in Haiti but I am already missing it desperately.
There are awful guilty, selfish, wimpy and relieved feelings that overtake my heart every single time I go though these motions. Yesterday I felt so ready to be back in the US that I literally paced away the hours, now I’m not so sure.
Every time I pack my bags to come back to Haiti I am thrilled beyond belief, but then I get here and I realize how much I miss what I left behind.
Some days I hate Haiti so much that I wish I had never come here. I get so frustrated by the discomforts and the unfairness that I beg God to just let me turn my back and walk away. I get sick of not being able to walk into a grocery store without passing hungry people sitting outside. I get sick of looking into the eyes of a kid who wont look back, because he has been so crushed in his short life that eye contact paralyzes him with fear. I get sick of every single person I talk to needing something from me. I get sick of saying yes, and I get sick of saying no. Sometimes I am so sick, that I disgust myself. How is it that I can claim to love it when so many days I despise it so much? Why do I get the luxury of feeling guilty for buying bread, instead of the pangs of hunger of my neighbors? Why can I look at the world around me and still complain because the temperature of my shower isn’t just how I would like it?
The last month has been surprisingly, one of the most difficult of my life. Only a week and a half after I got back Leogane experienced an earthquake, at 4am. It’s wasn’t a big one, but it was big enough. We spent the night outside. Since that night I haven’t slept. Feelings that I had dealt with and thought healed came rushing back. I lie in bed every night with my muscles tense, feeling every single truck that drives by. I lie with my eyes wide open staring into the darkness, darkness I swear I can feel. When I finally do fall asleep I wake up every single hour, At 4 I wake up and stare at the clock, my heart pounding and my mind racing.
I know it’s ridiculous. I know that I absolutely can not let fear run my life, but it still creeps in. When I enter a building I take note of the quickest way out. When I am surrounded by children that I love, I sickly wonder which one I would snatch up and carry outside if we started shaking. These are feelings that I experienced last year and it has surprised me that I am doing this again. This recent, small tremor was so insignificant compared to last year’s events, but if anything I feel even more fearful now.
For the last 4 days I slept alone in my new house. Betty left and it was just me. Those nights I begged and pleaded to be giving an out, to be able to pass this job onto someone else. I pleaded to go back to where I didn’t have to worry about raising an impossible amount of money, or ignoring the begging cries of a hungry human being. A life where I don’t have to be scared to fall asleep.
However, even through in the midst of the begging I know what the answer is. God tells us what to do, because He knows best. Right now I think I know what I want and need, but I have no idea what is to come. One day I will look back on this time and smile over how far I have come. One day the house He has given me will feel like home. On that day I am sure I will still be angry over injustice. I’m sure I will still feel guilty for turning away from someone who truly needs me. I’m sure I will still be torn, between there and here, between one life and another but I pray that I will remain faithful, even on the days when fear threatens to overtake.
God has given me the blessing of wanting to love more than I am capable of, because of that I part of me is always missing. When I am here, a bit of me is there, and when I am there, I leave some of my heart behind. It isn’t something that there is an answer or solution to, it just is. It comes with the life and don’t think for a second that I am strong or special because I do it. I am not good, I am captured, by two different worlds and a God who created me for both.