2010 Haiti Journal #4 January 17, 2010
Matthew 25 House
We got in!
What a relief! And the miracles keep happening. Neil Kopple, (yes, a relation) donated his time, his jet and his bagels to the cause. After "Clean The World"'s Shawn Seiple connected us with Neil, a humanitarian/benefactor who generously flew us into the U.S. Air Force controlled Port au Prince airport, then handed us bag after bag of fresh bagels and cream cheese.
The tower was down, the terminal in shambles and coated with a layer of water, and yet things ran with amazing success and a chaotic sort of precision. Though there was a moment just before landing that our co-pilot (Paul Burke) later reported to us that we lost audio connection with ground control. Our hats are off to Neil for volunteering to fly us in his amazing little jet with just a 20 minute window each way, for meeting the challenge of getting us there safely, and as the volunteers at Matthew 25 House would say was his shinning moment, got the bagels here intact.
Such a trivial thing seems almost frivolous, but for the team of 20 who have been working without sleep treating the earthquake victims, it made for just a moment of relief from the non-stop emotions that come with staving off death against all odds.
I worked the afternoon away in the drug room, organizing and dispensing meds. Everyone had their niche. But at the end of the day, our reward was to be welcomed at a circle gathering service performed by the local priest. Beautiful voices filled the air as sunset brought a cooling breeze, and we were transformed for a moment out of the soccer field full of the wounded and their families. We saw the stars again for a moment, and were reminded of one of the beautiful things about Haiti, their endless spirit and courage. Around the long table as we shared soup and bagels, I heard such a story. The woman to my left held out a small bill and said she had a story to tell...we grew quiet as her moist eyes signaled we should. She said she was given this money by a woman who had suffered a bad foot injury, and without treatment was now expected to die of gangrene. She had lost her home and her husband, but not her spirit. She told my new friend that this was the last of her money, and asked her to take it, and writing her name on a small bit of paper, along with those of her children, asked my friend to find her children. She was kind and gentle...living up to her last name: Tenderness. Not a bit of self-pity, though she earned it, not expressing any anger though she could have justified that...she actually tried to cheer up those around her. My friend was scheduled to return home soon, but after she shared this story, she turned to her husband, and said, this (showing the paper wrapped small bill) is why we can't go home.
Peace, always and all ways, leisa
3025 A Cambridge Road,
Cameron Park, CA 95682
Cameron Park, CA 95682