The reality is that my life isn't composed only of cute kids. Haiti is a dark place and though I am a person who easily focuses on the beautiful, I encounter true ugliness every day. This week has been no exception.
The elderly woman who lost her daughter-in-law a month ago and her son this week. Their newborn baby is lucky to have a grandmother who cares, but he will never know his mother or his father.
The beautiful teenage girl, pregnant at 15.
The angry mob outside my house, protesting the government's decision to bulldoze a series of properties down the block. They throw rocks at the UN compound, burn tires, smash bottles and build roadblocks out of rock and rubble.
The 6 year old girl with a wound on her forehead that looks suspiciously like abuse.
The woman who comes to clinic with a rash all over her neck, a rash we almost never see unless the patient has AIDS. She sits, weak and discouraged, as our staff reads the test results to her and explains why her life is slowly ebbing away.
And finally, the old lady whom neighbors find walking to the ocean to drown herself because the pain in her infected foot is more than she can bear. They pick her up and bring her to us instead where we remove an old bandage, decrepit stitches and almost vomit when the smell of rotting flesh enters our nostrils. The three of us, Grace, Lala, and I, take turns cutting away blackened skin and draining dark red and yellowish-green pus from tunnels of infection that have overtaken her limb. We give her a shot, antibiotics and pain medications and then we wait. Wait and pray that we can save that foot.