I am on the Board of a non-for-profit called MATH (Medical Aid to Haiti). How I got involved is a story for another day. But, at my first Board meeting I was offered the opportunity to go to Haiti as a non-medical member of a team of health workers going in late September. One of my assignments is to blog about the experience as a first timer. I have done a lot of research on Haiti. I’ve read Tracy Kidder’s book and spent hours on the Partners in Health website. I have talked to people and read articles in the New York Times. But, something tells me that whatever I’m expecting is not what it will be or what I will experience. That is why I want to write about what I’m expecting now, prior to going.
I’ve been told its sensory overload. I’ve been told that the hunger is incomprehensible. I’ve been told that young children in the streets all by themselves is shocking. I’ve been told that I’ll be overwhelmed by the Haitian spirit and the Haitian dignity. But, what will I really feel? Will I feel peace from being involved with a like minded group of Americans. Will I feel anxiety? Will I feel sadness? Will I feel hope? Will I feel more compelled to donate time and money? Will I feel impatience for the excess in the US? Who knows! I do know, though, that the unknowing is the reason I want to document every step of the way. I want to be able to help other first timers. I want to be able to shed light on what a medical mission is about. Mostly, I want to be able to do good work for MATH and for the people of Haiti, not just with my mind, but with my heart and soul too.