Maybe you’ve started your day, week or month by remembering a special anniversary such as a birthday, wedding day, graduation, loss of a precious friend or family member. All are unique markers of time, accomplishment and love. The beginning of 2016 represented the 10th anniversary of our first medical mission trip and our 30th Little by Little team to serve in Gramothe, Haiti together with Mountain Top Ministries (MTM). In 2006, the departure of our first team to Haiti, consisting of 12 volunteers, was postponed several times from the beginning of January until mid-February because of political instability surrounding the presidential elections. During 2015, Little by Little brought together more than 140 medical professionals and various essential volunteers enabling 5 dynamic medical teams to serve with each other in Gramothe, Haiti.
January 12, 2016 was also the 6th anniversary of the devastating earthquake our team experienced together in Haiti. Renewal and rebuilding have brought new life and expectancy back into Haiti. Vibrant paint splashes the finished buildings. Memorial parks have been carefully designed and created as tents and their shadows were replaced with tropical color and hope. Even though no one is yet used to the new traffic signals on the new roads, evidenced by drivers who continue to honk their way through the newly erected stop lights, I definitely sense Haiti’s rebirth.
Life in Haiti also seems to be falling back into routine. Of course people will always remember the tragic time of the earthquake, however, traumatic memories seem to be fading, just as the fresh pink, yellow and turquoise paint is becoming dusty and blotched with political graffiti. Garbage is starting to accumulate where rubble used to haunt the walkways. It is again an election cycle and the president who has been in office since before the earthquake has served his extended term.
Returning to Haiti at the beginning of this year made me examine the way I am responding to the normalcy of my life here at home. I don’t want dust, garbage and political uncertainty to dim or damper my shine, empathy and respect for those around me. Instead I want to remember, observe and strive to stay bright in my daily walk. We continue to serve in Haiti where our volunteers and resources will be of the most benefit. We maintain our core values of partnership, reciprocity, sustainability, transparency and universal healthcare for all. Thank you for joining us in 10 years of service together! J sue