I’m headed home from Ranquitte. I meant to post more during the trip, but time seems to move at varying speeds, and it’s hard to keep up in the Haitian countryside. I continued the real estate tour, seeing 36 houses all across the Ranquitte region. Some were close to town, only a few minute walk, while others required a motorcycle followed by a several mile hike. Aside from a general idea of the area we’d be seeing, I never knew where the homes would be or how far apart. One of the trips, led us to a village called Maryann, lying on a sleepy river. We had already hiked for 45 minutes from the last home to get over some small mountains, when the trail practically dropped off in to the river bottom. I was surprised, but ecstatic from the views, and hiked/stumbled down the loose trail to get to the river. We waded through the river for about half a mile, until another trail came in to view. My guide that day, Jean Francois, led us up a steep hill to a village of 8 homes. Standing in the center of Maryann, surrounded by mountains that glow in the midday sun, and the twinkling sounds of the river below, I started laughing. My guide and interpreter joined in, likely wondering if the heat had finally done me in. All I could think is that this village was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen, and I’m there just to look at the houses. The contrast between the natural beauty of the area, and the abject poverty was so obvious I couldn’t help but laugh at the situation. I met with 2 families in the village and saw the thatch roofs that didn’t even keep sunlight out. I let them know we’d be raising money and sending the money for a new roof within a few months.
Early on in the trip, I expected to pretty much be functioning as an amateur home inspector. I should’ve known better than to think the trip would remain so straight-forward. I was taking in scenery, stumbling across patients for the clinic in town, and getting the slightest bit more insight in to the lives of the people we’re trying to help. It was humbling to see how many of them live, but just as inspiring to know that they continue to live their lives everyday, not resigning to the pain and suffering of which they’re far too familiar.
I think in the western world we tend to view adversity as character building, but I’m starting to understand that it’s more complex. Adversity is like a rock you carry on your back. It’s back breaking, and makes simple tasks so much harder. But if you can lighten the load that’s been shouldered for so long, the strength gained is invaluable. I’d like to think we’re trying to chip away at that boulder, a little bit at a time.
Thanks for reading,