Friday, January 29, 2010

Another Missive From the Front

I'm hoping to have some time this weekend to share some thoughts from the beginning of the semester. I've been really busy with classes and sporting events so it's been hard to find the time to write. Here, though, is the latest from Brother Boynton:

Every day we hear the common story of people who want us to hire them for translators, workers, or anything possible. Most of this large city is homeless, without work, and in grief. The tent cities everywhere are improving in some ways, and deteriorating in others. After driving through the city several times today I became aware of just how long the rebuilding process is going to take.

There are now many medical teams in town, and most of the wounds we see have at least been treated one time. Much of what we are now doing in the city is badly needed follow-up work. Wounds once treated are getting infected, and people are now starting to report the problems associated with living in their new conditions.

One of our doctors heard about a wounded girl, and another wounded father, mother, and son. All of them were about an hour and half outside the city and were in need of surgery. We took our truck to go out and transport them to the hospital were our surgeons were working. All this week I have often smiled at doctors who have told me to tell a person to keep a wound elevated and clean, or to take a medication three times a day with food. Of course none of this is possible to a person living on the street with no food. Today after arriving at the hospital I told the people to get out of the car and follow me to the registration area. The little boy did not follow me, and I thought he did not understand. After repeating myself in my clearest Creole, he still sat there looking at me. Of course he could not walk. I realized my mistake, walked over to him and carried him through a gate and down to an empty tent where he will spend the night waiting for surgery. In carrying him I saw every little child in my past who had captured my heart. I saw Darren, Dennis, Dean, Maria, David, Tommy, Mark and Amanda. I saw Lily, Michael, Edward, Thomas and Anna. I saw 14-year-old Jeffry Duck, Billy Q., Martin and Chris. What happened here almost two weeks ago was an Earthquake, not a Haiti shake, and that little boy was not just Wilenson, but every kid I have ever known.

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