I always tell people that the beauty of Haiti is that though the lows are very low, the highs are very high. The tough times are tougher than anything I experienced in the US, but they are balanced by good times that are richer than what I usually experience in the US. So I've been waiting for something glorious to balance out the pain of Lovena's disappearance.
It hasn't come.
I am still wallowing a bit in the emotional mud of her loss. I'm having a hard time seeing the good of being in Haiti, seeing the point of doing everything that I do. I've started an exercise of looking very deliberately for beauty and purpose because in my current state of mind, I am not going to see it without really hunting.
I was encouraged by this story from Jonas, one of my nursing assistant students. He saw a man collapse in the street. Everyone else backed away, talking about voodoo and evil spirits. Jonas, however, looked at the man's body and thought, "This looks like the symptoms of a stroke, just like Miss Keziah taught us this week." He pulled out the BP cuff I'd given him, checked the man and found his blood pressure a sky-rocket high 210/140. Thanks to Jonas, the man was taken to the hospital, instead of ignored on the street.
Rudenchly, my little burn patient who had a first surgery in November to repair a burn contracture, (click here and here for his story) got his second surgery last week and is doing beautifully. He is walking around holding my hand and grinning his gigantic dimply grin. I am going to arrange physical therapy for him once his surgical site heals and this boy is going to learn to walk by himself!
Amoni, the man who had a terrible hand infection, (click here for his story) had his surgery in Port-au-Prince and is still coming for dressing changes every other day. His hand is healing very nicely and it is amazing to see someone who was so close to amputation and even death walking around nearly healthy.
And finally there's JB. He is roommates with Oscar, our favorite clinic nursing assistant, and I invited him to take my nursing assistant course, hoping that perhaps he would show some of the brains and, more importantly, the heart that Oscar has. I hit a jackpot in JB! He is one of my brightest students, first to answer questions and first to ask for deeper explanations. He has started spending his free time in clinic, helping us do dressing changes and learning from everything that we do.
I had prayed that we would find a replacement for Oscar in my newest class, and it looks like JB will be the one. We will be sad to see Oscar go to medical school, but I will be very proud to see JB step up and fill his shoes.
Those are the things that I'm trying to look at - the good things, the reasons why my presence in Haiti is not a mistake. My failure with Lovena doesn't have to define who I am. God has a plan and I don't agree with this particular part of it, but I'm willing to wait Him out and trust Him. Someday perhaps He will tell me His reasons for my presence in Haiti, His reasons for letting things turn out the way they do, and it will all make sense. In the meantime, I look for the good, and I wait.