Well, it has been quite awhile since I have written a blog. Lately I haven't had much to write about I guess. I look around at my life right now and it looks completely different then it did back in the summer months. I am not as happy as I was then. I am no longer living my dream.
Since I have returned home, I no longer get chased down by dozens of kids who want hugs and kisses. I no longer wake up in the morning to the roosters or my little friends knocking on (or peeking under) my door. I miss the food, the vibrant colours, the noise, riding on the back of Moto's, attempting to speak Creole and making a fool out of myself (such as saying Ou Manaje -you boyfriend -instead of saying Ou manje -you eat). I often find myself in a daze, staring into space, reminiscing about my time spent in Haiti and thinking about the kids who have taken up such a huge part of my heart. I miss it.. I miss them.
It's Christmas time and everyone is running around buying gifts and food for their Christmas dinner's. It is supposed to be a joyous time, but for me.. It is not. All I can think about are my friends and babies back in Haiti who won't receive any gifts and who won't be sitting around the table with family for a nice Christmas feast. They will be fortunate if they eat at all on Christmas day. My heart is aching for them. A lot of children and even adults are aware of Christmas, but have never experienced it.
I have everything here- running water, electricity, unlimited access to food and resources, a stable structure over my head, and a soft bed to lay in at night. But yet I feel empty. I have come to a great realization, which I never would have came to if it wasn't for the Haitian people. They taught me the meaning of life. They showed me what true love is. They have inspired me in so many ways. I went there to help them, to give them whatever I possibly could, but instead, they helped me and they gave me more than I could have ever imagined. Life isn't about materialistic things. Life isn't about money. Life is about love and helping one another - yes this sounds cheesy, but it couldn't be more accurate. I spent months living a lifestyle people here in Canada would cringe at. I had no electricity, no running water, no safe haven, and I didn't even have a bed. I slept with cockroaches, lizards, and tarantulas. Every day I sweat immensely, the dirt and dust stuck to me. I ate one meal a day, usually chicken and rice or chicken and goat (the odd time I also ate street meet or baby food). I was peed and pooped on numerous times by the children or babies that I was working with. I listened as children told me that they were raped, beaten, or being used as slaves. I had a woman hand me her child and asked me to take him back to Canada. I witnessed heartache, I felt heartache, but yet.. I couldn't have been happier. There was so much despair and devastation around me, I was living a lifestyle that people back home would view as dehumanizing, but none of that mattered. I didn't even phase me while I was there. I had enough to survive, I had the love of dozens of children who had lived their entire lives in these conditions. Seeing my babies smile made my day. I could escape this lifestyle, I could return home to luxury, these kids have no where else to go. They are trapped, and most likely.. always will be.
Everyone always asks me how I did it, why I would chose to live like that or witness the things I have witnessed. And once I tell them I want to go back, they shake their heads in disbelief. But they don't understand. They never will. Until they themselves visit this amazing and inspiring country. I cannot put it into words, I cannot make others understand. I can only encourage each and every person to take a risk, to do something outrageous, to better themselves and to impact the lives of others by volunteering. It is the most rewarding and life changing thing you could ever do.
There are currently many violent riots taking place in Haiti due to compensation for Cholera. Lawyers representing thousands of cholera victims in Haiti have threatened to take the United Nations to court in the United States, unless the international body responds to a petition for financial compensation. The UN is being asked to pay $100,000 (£65,000) to the families of those who died and $50,000 (£32,500) to each of the people who fell sick but recovered. In addition there is a "class action" saying the UN should stop the cholera by rebuilding Haiti's decrepit water and sanitation infrastructure. If met in total, the claims could cost the international body many billions of dollars. Cholera is a disease that spreads through human waste and infected water.Victims can die within hours of the disease taking hold if they don't get treatment. The main symptom is catastrophic dehydration through diarrhoea and vomiting.
I have many decisions to make right now, some that may heavily impact my future. I am stuck at a crossroad. But it has come the time for me to wake up and to start being happy again. I need to revive my dreams and get my long lost positive attitude and outlook on life back. To do this, I think I need the help of my Haitian friends. So.. I have decided that in the new year I will once again begin fundraising for Haiti and I will return to one of the places I now call home in May 2012. I am already excited and anxious. I will probably have my bags packed by the new year.
One of my main priorities right now is helping out OREA Orphanage to get beds. Since the earthquake, all of the orphans have been sleeping on the floor. Not only are the cement floors extremely uncomfortable but it is also very unsanitary and has caused the children many illnesses. It will cost $150 each and we are aiming to buy ten beds.
If you are interested in donating clothing, school supplies, medical supplies, money, or interested in sponsoring a child or volunteering please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=596845603
Thank you !