Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Secret (of the) Garden

As I may have mentioned recently, Port-au-Prince is a dusty gray wasteland and one of the ways that I combat depression from lack of greenery is with my little garden on the porch of my Shoebox. After the earthquake, the plants suffered pretty severely from water rationing (drinking and occasional bathing had priority over laundry, dishwashing, and definitely plant care in those days) and I was down to a rather sad-looking 5 plants who drooped more than they bloomed.

Once the roads opened up and water trucks were able to get into my neighborhood regularly, I began a valiant effort to save my little garden. I was so successful that in the fall, I had to separate one plant into 2 new pots because it was growing so large. Sherrie gave me 2 purple flowering plants and when my mother was in country, we bought a beautiful climbing vine. One of the neighborhood girls, 13 year old Manezda, caught the excitement and when a lady moved out of Delmas 91, leaving behind all her potted plants, Manezda rescued five of them for me! We planted them together and felt very proud.

On Mardi Gras, Marc, Eric, and I took 6 youth group kids and a few of our friends far up the mountain to Furcy. I was driving a friend's pick-up truck when we saw a lady lying on the side of the road. She had been in a motorcycle accident and although she wasn't too badly hurt, she was basically in shock. After we dropped Eric and the kids off at our hiking spot, Marc and I drove and then carried the woman home down a few miles of very steep mountain roads. We rejoined our party and began a hike in the gorgeous mountains.

Partway through the hike, a man came running down the trail to meet us. It was the injured lady's husband. "I brought you some flowers to thank you!" he explained. "I left them in your car."

I was amazed: a lot of Haitians tend to take for granted kind things that foreigners do, as if it's your job as a blan to be the Good Samaritan. Not this man. And when I saw the "flowers" that he'd left in the car, I was even more amazed. They were tall, beautiful potted plants that weighed close to 30 pounds. He had carried them up miles of steep terrain that had us puffing and panting simply to tell us thank you. To me, his act of love far outweighed our own.

1 comment:

Lauren said...

you have such a wonderful effect on people, and you dont even realize it :) and im glad youve found kindred spirits in marc & eric. never change, my friend!!! <3