I took the pictures below when I was in Haiti in July. I spent a week there a few days before the six month anniversary of the earthquake. The last time I was in Haiti was almost two weeks before the earthquake. When planning the trip, I was preparing myself for the worst. After we landed, we drove around the city of Port-au-Prince. Driving around you would think the quake hit only a few days before because it did not appear as if there was any progress taking place, even six months after. I expected to see bulldozers, relief workers on the ground, and rebuilding taking place. Instead, I saw small groups of men standing on top of rubble removing large stones by hand. I also saw little children walking around buildings that looked like a strong wind would topple them over. It was very discouraging.
What was encouraging was the spirit of the people. Always smiling, even though they were hungry, wearing clean clothes even though they were living in tents that got as hot as 110 degrees each day, keeping busy to put food on the table, and having positive attitudes even though they were surrounded by devastation. In some of these pictures you see my aunt holding babies in an orphanage. Everyone was smiling.
This trip was also different because I brought a co-worker with me to Haiti who is an American. This was his first trip to the island. I had a chance to see the country from his eyes. Everything amazed him. He fell in love with the country, the culture, and its people. It helped me to look past the dust and devastation to the bright side of the devastation. The survivors were strong, had peaceful spirits, and most of all, are hopeful.
Makes me really think about how I will respond during difficult times.