Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Haiti On My Mind

Haiti is on my mind tonight and has been a lot lately. Between releasing the Haley and Cam "Special Report" short story, which is loosely based on my experiences in Haiti, and this news story about busting child traffickers in Haiti and the Mardy family, many of my old memories of Haiti have surfaced. (Not to mention, a lot of conversations with my parents about the shots they need to get to serve their mission in Samoa, which are the same shots I had to get to go to Haiti and Cambodia.)

The news story today really struck a sad chord with me. I have met the Mardy family. I have heard Guesno Mardy speak first-hand about how his son was kidnapped out of the church building, and who he (correctly) suspected did it and why. I have been to one of his orphanages in Port-au-Prince, and helped work on a new, under construction, orphanage outside of town. (The picture above is of the orphanage. The picture below is of me making concrete to build an outside kitchen the orphanage could use until the inside one was functional.)

All of these memories are still emotional and tough to process. The things we saw and did were so far outside the realm of expected and normal that I know I'll never experience it all again. And with the exception of the friends I served with, there is no one who can relate to what we did there. (Unless another civilian knows what it feels like to disembark a plane in the dark and be told that there may or may not be snipers dialed in on you, even though you are only there to bring medical aid.)

I truly wish and pray that I could work in the field of anti-trafficking. My time as a volunteer in Haiti and Cambodia opened my eyes to a world I never could have imagined. I truly believe if people want to "strengthen the family" and "protect" the family, fighting trafficking and helping those the most at-risk for trafficking, is the best way to do that. I wish more people would investigate and educate themselves about where, why, and how often trafficking happens. You might be surprised to learn how close to home it happens. You don't have to be like me and fly off to developing countries to fight trafficking. You can fight it in your own neighborhoods. Because I can guarantee it happens in your town, regardless of how big or small it is.

I miss being of service to the world in such a measurable way. I often wonder if I am just a huge waste of space (single, unemployed, etc). I know I made the right choices when I chose not to serve in the Peace Corps, and I indefinitely postponed moving to China. But my desire to serve in those types of capacities has not lessened.

Now, to just figure out how to be of service again.

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