This story is the greatest testimony to Haitian culture that I can tell.
In my neighborhood of Delmas 91, there is a beautiful baby girl named Jennifer. She is 6 months old and she was orphaned by the earthquake. Since the first day, people in the community have been caring for her and I have been providing them with the baby formula and the medications to do so.
At a time like this, when our homes have been destroyed, when food and water are in short supply, and when no one truly knows if we will survive till next week, an orphan child should be unwanted. A few days ago, UNICEF appeared in our camp when I was out doing rounds. They offered to take Jennifer. But instead of jumping at the opportunity to shoulder that burden onto someone else, the wonderful people in my community ripped up the UNICEF paperwork. "She's our baby!" they proclaimed. "She belongs here on Delmas 91!"
I was so proud when I heard that story. Jennifer continues to thrive in the loving care of every member of the camp. There are 2 sisters, young nursing students, who have taken the role as her primary caregivers, but everyone watches over Jennifer. It seems like each time I walk up to the camp, a different person is holding her. They dress her up, they kiss her, they tickle her, they show her off to anyone who will stop and listen.
She's our baby.