Monday, February 1, 2010

Our baby

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.


Mama Beth said...

I imagine having Jennifer is healing for them. A reminder that life goes on. Someone to cuddle & love & receive your emotional energy when your own loved one is gone.
Maybe everyone who went thru the quake should be given a baby to care for!

Hannah Schundler said...

Wow. That is amazing, Keziah. The community of Delmas 91 will forever be part of her story...

The Haiti Lady said...

AMAZING! Kiss Jennifer for all of us. Let the people of delmas 91 know they did the right thing.
Love Always,

Nicole said...

That is a really great story. I am so glad that Jennifer is thriving, with so many loving, caring people to watch over her!