Haiti Reflections and Looking Forward
As HCBH celebrates their 10th anniversary we reflect on the many miracles that happen everyday at the hospital. These miracles are made possible by dedicated hospital staff, administration, and our volunteers and supporters. Tonya, a registered labor and delivery nurse, is our guest blogger for the day! She shares her experiences from Haiti.I was asked a long time ago to write a reflection of my time in Haiti. It is so difficult to put what I feel in my heart, and what I’ve done on paper, and today as I was writing a post for school I could finally find the words.
Many people look at Haiti and fail to see the beauty which the country holds. We remember hurricanes, earthquakes, cholera, and see faces of children, and broken homes. But not many get the opportunity to see the real Haiti.
When I look at Haiti I see mountains, and more mountains. I see lush trees, and tall sugar cane, I see goats, cows, chicken and pigs running freely. I see children laughing and playing, I see people making the most of what they have and thanking God for the gifts they have been given.
I honestly will say that I did not choose Haiti, Haiti chose me. I think the moment I landed they knew I was a lost soul, I had endured much tragedy in my life, I wanted to believe that God wasn’t personal picking on me, but it was getting hard, I lost my brother, my mother, my father, my in-laws, and then two grandbabies before I even got to know them. I remember crying thinking “How is my turn again”
Arriving in Haiti, I expected sadness, sorrow, I expected people to be depressed. Well let me just tell you I was wrong. I could understand that it isn’t about what you don’t have, but what you do. God gave his son, so that we can know eternal life. What does that mean? Wait, he gave his Son, so that I can have eternal life. Doesn’t that mean that he didn’t take my family but that they are with God, he didn’t take them but instead invited them home with him. Shouldn’t this be an invitation we all want.
My first experience at the hospital was filled with much awe. It was so much more than I expected. The maternity ward was full, there were women laboring and women with the new babies. I came to Haiti to work with the nurses who are working so diligently to provide safe births for the women in Haiti. As a nurse, you have a sixth sense in which you are always drawn to the patient which needs you the most.
This is may be a tale of just one woman, however it powerful representation of what a mother is willing to give for her child. Her life. It is something we think about, or even should think about. As I entered the ward, there was a woman in bed three, it was my first day there, she was anxious, and moaning, in obvious pain. As the week progressed she became worse, and was not doing well. Finally, I could understand the scope of the problem, the woman had hemorrhaged and was in desperate need of a blood transfusion. The nurses were unable to get the blood which was needed. She was going to die if they couldn’t get this vital resource which for me all I have to do is make a phone call and it is there. They finally were able to save her life. It was a miracle.I knew coming to Haiti I may see a woman die giving birth, the maternal mortality rate is extremely high, however I did not know that it would have a life changing effect on my life. It was that moment when I knew that God had a plan for me, It was not a simple plan, or an easy plan, but I needed to help these remarkable women in Haiti. I came home armed with faith in God and an idea. The first step was to rally a team. And let me tell you the remarkable people I have met along this journey, they have become close friends and wonderful team members.
There are the people on the ground in Haiti, who everyday struggle with the realities of lack of resources, and living in a land which is located in a geographical bulls eye for storms, relentless rain, or earthquakes, who keep me informed on the needs and the process there, they look and plan, and work with the Haitian Red Cross. And the remarkable people who provide the support here, keep me grounded, and remind of Haitian time when I begin to unravel. And God who put me on this journey and will see me through.
During my last trip, we watched rain come, and come, and come. The streets flooded, there were mudslides, and homes were destroyed. Travel was impossible, the night shift nurses had to stay because day shift was unable to travel. No one questioned what had to be done, the nurses just kept working taking care of the patients, they stayed. The resilience of the staff at this hospital amazes me, they don’t give up, they keep working, they are steadfast, they put their trust in God’s plan.I am so blessed to have met the people I have met in Haiti and to be able to call them friends. I know that there is plan for me and I know that there is much work to be done, and that it will not be easy, but I believe that God will see me through and help me along the way.