This Friday, I’m heading back to Haiti to volunteer at a small hospital once again. The last few weeks have been jammed full: gathering supplies, filling out paper work, immunizations, organizing supplies, buying suntan lotion, packing supplies, making sure I’ve packed enough coffee, more paper work, emails, and it goes on. I haven’t really had a chance to breathe, to reflect on what it is I’m actually doing. During this whirlwind of a time, I’ve been asked the same question many times, “So, why are you going back again?”. Most of the time I’ve smiled, and given some sort of answer without a whole lot of thought. Until tonight, when the packing is finally complete, everything is done, and all I have left to do is wait.
So, why am I going back? Going back to a place where I know I will work the hardest I will every work, long shifts with little time to eat, little time to sleep, showering in a drizzle of water, crossing my fingers that the toilet flushes, sweating through my scrubs, using every emotion I have in me…. why?
Well. That’s easy. My time in Haiti last year was the most challenging experience of my life, and at the same time it was the most life changing, inspiring, and most rewarding experience I have ever had. Emotionally, physically, spiritually. Every aspect of myself was touched. Every aspect of myself was affected, was challenged, was questioned. Making every aspect of myself grow. Making me a different, more real and raw human being. Learning feelings I didn’t know existed within me. Giving me the ability to see my world in a different light. A different perspective. Of enabling me to become more empathetic, more patient, more kind and more calm. And on top of all this, building friendships that will last a lifetime.
I know I’m in for a tough hawl. But. That tough hawl is someone’s everyday reality. So if I can help, with the skills that I have, to make that someone’s reality a little lighter, then count me in. I know this time will be different. And for that, I’m excited. Nervous, but excited. To see it all from a different view. A bigger picture. To help people in a different way. Maybe not to try so hard to save as many lives with the little resources they have; but instead, to offer hope. To offer whatever I have in me, as a glimpse of kindness. To act as a reminder that we are all the same. We are all in this together. And in the end, we all just want the exact same thing.
Smile with your heart
Thanks to FIGS scrubs for donating scrubs for our trip! For every set of scrubs sold, FIGS gives a set to a healthcare provider in need – how cool is that!