Nature stomped this place like so many heavy boots on sand castles. When I first arrived, everything looked surreal, unlike anything I’d ever imagined. These pictures I’ve shared with you . . . this war zone captured on my I-phone. Utter destruction. No water or electricity. The Haitian people – unfailingly kind, dignified, and grateful. The task is so huge, it would be very, very easy to fall into hopelessness.
The city is coming to life now. The landscape is dotted with tents and crowded lines, families waiting for something, anything to help them make it another day. And then I saw something that blew me away . . . something small, delicate, and heartbreakingly innocent. And I saw it many times, a sight more emotionally charged than the destruction spreading for miles in every direction. A child’s smile. Sound a bit sentimental? Maybe. But the sight of such simplicity, the essential human ability to feel happiness in dire circumstances, and the unbelievable sound of laughter – here on the backdrop of all this misery, well, it changed me.
I’ve run the gamut of emotions here, from grief to joy. The sight of little faces breaking into grins when they lay eyes on me, the smile of a teenager, glad to be alive, as he gazes up, up, up into my face. I’m telling you, people, amidst all this hopelessness, these Haitian children and their gentle, accepting souls bring hope, and it’s a powerful thing.
Look into those beautiful faces. The little guy up there flashing the peace sign.Though they may not truly comprehend the enormity of the situation, these smallest among sufferers have taught me an invaluable lesson. What do I have to be thankful for? A lot. A whole hell of a lot. How about you?
Dr. Dan Ivankovich (@ReverendDoctorD)