Our November medical team is getting ready to leave for Haiti. As board member Dave Zollner points out, this is a time to think about expectations, anticipate reconnecting with Haitian friends, and prepare oneself to spend a week in a place that can seem so different from home. But for returning team members like Dave, Terre Blanche has become more familiar over the years.
In his earlier trips, Dave spent a lot time noticing how different life was in Haiti. Poverty, natural disasters, food shortages and the lack of health care were overwhelming. Over the years, Dave and others have noticed a change. When asked whether he sees conditions improving in Terre Blanche, the answer is a resounding “YES!”
There are changes in neonatal care, early child health, nutrition, sanitation, education, clean water, safe housing, economic development and community health. These changes are measured, documented and real. Yes, conditions are improving.
When we look at the reasons behind the changes, we realize the answers weren’t always obvious. As Dave reminds us, the changes take place when we work hand-in-hand with our in-country partners who know their circumstances better than we do. This partnership provides an opportunity to be better listeners and to act with love, respect and humility.
The partnership exists on a large scale between Haiti Foundation of Hope and the community leaders in Terre Blanche. The partnership also exists on a small scale between American and Haitian team members working alongside one another in the medical clinic. We can’t wait to hear their stories.