Donate to patient's in Haiti

Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Hey everyone, I am trying to raise $280 to get a CT of the brain for a cancer patient I am currently taking care of. We are trying to get him Chemo that we think can save him, but like healthcare in the US, things cost money. He needs a CT for evaluation.

If I raise over the desired amount I promise all other funds will go towards patients needing treatment (ultrasound, EKG, CTs, medicines) that they cannot afford. See below and thank you for considering.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Last night I rode back from a health conference with a beautiful, brilliant, young Haitian doctor. We were talking about the Haitian people.

She said that often her people are rude. She said that it's hard for them. Specifically the uneducated people. For them everything is a fight. It's a fight for food, a fight to get on the tap-tap going in the right direction. A fight to sell each piece of fruit and every soda. It's a fight to survive. Especially in certain areas of Port-au-Prince, like Carrefour. She said they get so used to fighting everyday that their entire life and attitude becomes just that, a battle.

She said she wishes that they weren't rude sometimes, but she understands it. She believes it's her duty to help educate them. Aid them in survival. To show them grace.

It's so easy for me to forget the trials they face everyday while I live in a sturdy building with (usually) clean water and (sometimes) electricity. But all you have to do is ride across town to remember. I think we are all fighting to learn here in our own way.

my Jesus Revelation.

Monday, October 18, 2010
I'm going to be honest. I've had a really hard time with the Haitian people. In general that is. There are always well, everything. Except maybe that God is good...but for most everything else.

I've mentioned before that Haitian's are strong and patient. Resilient. But they are frustrating. They take and take and take and expect more. There is a white price and a Haitian price for every item on the street. It doesn't matter if you've been here six days or six years. They will always charge you more. They think we owe it to them.

No matter how many times I explain that I am here for free, not getting paid, they think I'm rich. They believe I have money and I should give it to them. They deserve it somehow.

For my first couple months here I thought that maybe they did. I’ve read the history and am aware that the French and Americans have used and abused Haiti over decades. And I am sure we still are, more than I realize…

But then I got fed up. A middle age patient who'd been walking around with a bullet in his leg limping terrible with a grossly affected femur got to me. I'd been advocating for weeks for him to have surgery as some physicians put it off on "the next guy." I'd made sure he and his daughter had enough food. I brought him juice. He had free medicine, free food, a free operation, free lab work, free xrays and far more than a free full days work from me.

He did well after his surgery. He was given everything he needed and more. When it came time for discharge he looked at me, happy but exhausted from the days work, and said, "aren't you going to give me money to go home?"

I about fell on the floor. I'm sure I rolled my eyes and looked at the translator. "I've given him everything I can, he hasn't paid a cent his entire stay here, but he needs to get himself home."

I was done. Served out. About ready to throw in the towel.

I have talked with other expats here many times about how we don't understand the common “Haitian attitude.” We've given up comfort. We've given up good paying jobs and regular meals. We've given up hot water and air conditioning. We've left our families and our cars and all that is familiar and easy. And everyday they ask us to give MORE.

Sometimes it's food. Sometimes it's money for school or a laptop or a free ride. Sometimes it's diapers or formula or your ipod.
And me in my sinful self simply wants to say...don't you think I've given you enough!?

How terrible my attitude has been.


He made Himself nothing.
Taking the very nature of a servant,
Being made in human likeness,
And being found in appearance as a man,
He humbled Himself and became obedient to death.
Even death on a cross.

from Philippians 2.

What I have given pales in comparison. In reality it is nothing. He gave and gave and gave and is still giving...

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I kissed an eight month old baby goodbye today while his mom cried. She took him to an orphanage so that she can find work. She is seventeen. She's been living here since shortly after the earthquake and our administration has mandated that all the tents be gone by October 1st. What day is it?

I gave her the money to take him into the countryside to an orphanage that will allow her to visit. I've been so torn about it. When talking to Brooke she said, "think about it though, if we were in the States we would encourage a 17 year old to put her son up for adoption, we wouldn't think it was wrong." The difference here is he won't be adopted.

I've heard that many of the children in orphanages here are not orphans at all. Their parents simply cannot afford them. What makes it even worse is that this baby is HIV+. When I was in Tanzania it seemed that there were orphanages all over the place for HIV/AIDS kids. There is one in Port-au-Prince. It's full.

I probably won't see David again, but it's my prayer that his mom is able to care for him again someday. It seems hopeless in a world where educated, trilingual men can't find jobs, that a seventeen, uneducated, sick mother would. But who knows. Pray for her and for me. She will still be living close and I hope that I'll still see her often.

Galerie Nader.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I get it now. Since January I've heard complaints about the great loss of art in the earthquake. I read an article in Smithsonian Magazine that my father gave me during our time in the Dominican. It told about the hundreds of paintings lost in the rubble worth thousands of dollars. I never really understood what all the fuss was about.

On the road to Petion-Ville and even around the palace downtown there are streets lined with "artists" selling their wares. Most of it is brightly painted metal and canvas. They are all okay. If you are up for the harassment you might occasionally find something worth stopping to look at. I'm not big on folk art, which is what I guess most of it is called...the rest of my family would actually know...but other than market scenes and occasional jungle animals it's mostly unremarkable.

The Galerie Nader changed that for me. I went to Petion-Ville with one of the groups last week and the most important stop was this art gallery. A few of the team members had been there earlier in the year and wanted to go back.

I'm not sure if it's the stark contrast to the dusty, trashy Port-au-Prince streets, or just the fact that you walk out of mud onto pearly white floors cooled by air conditioning, but the place completely comes alive.

It's small, which is my idea of an art gallery, and the walls are over 15 feel high. Covered, from toe to ceiling, with paintings. I discovered that the dusty canvases lining the streets are, in fact, replicas of some pretty amazing pieces of art.

There are few that I would purchase for my living room, but the faces of Haitians selling, dancing, meeting, and even sacrificing are pretty compelling. There are obvious voodoo roots in some pieces and angelic scenes in others.

It made me realize that when my Haitian American friend said that "all that Haiti has going for her is mangoes and art" the art might actually save her.

Valbrun Jacques is by far my favorite and his oils cost upwards of $6000 USD. The gallery caretaker told me that he died a few years back, likely increasing his going rates but I wasn't alarmed by the price. Third world countries don't have to produce third rate art. I think too often when we come to a place like Haiti we think that the filth, heat, and disease cheapens the country as a whole, and it's not true.

Beautiful people produce beautiful art all over the world. And the contrast in Haiti just makes it all the more compelling.