The Greatest Gift
In the night before crossing the border into Haiti, the team filled 100 bags with staple foods. Each bag contained 2 cups of wheat, 4 cups of beans, 16 cups of rice and 1 small package of pasta. Enough food to feed a family for several days. Our destination, one of the local orphanages in Port-Au-Prince.
Outside of the orphanage, a community of an estimated 10,000 people, but probably more, have gathered in tents and under tarps among the open spaces and narrow allies of this area of the city. Our team unloaded the bags of food and started walking down the allies and through the crumbled buildings handing the bags to families. As we handed the bags out, the people began to say, “Aujourd’hui, je mange”. Translated: Today, I eat.
For so long in our journey into Haiti, you asked people how they were doing, there response was “Grangou”, “Grangou” meaning hungry.
In our short walk that day, we met 100 extraordinary people who were living in the streets and trying to rebuild a community to some degree of order. They were picking up the pieces, one handful at a time.
One story that stood out the among the group was of an elderly woman who greatly accepted the food and asked, “do you have a tent?” in broken English. She was living among the rubble and cinder blocks outside, sleeping in the open air, her only possessions included a few articles of clothing and a black kettle for cooking. The rainy season was coming and she wanted to be able to stay dry at night when she slept. She was told more supplies are coming next week with another group, she smiled as tears ran down her face.
We left hoping the next group would be able to find her among the 1000’s of people and that now, she sleeps under a tent and dry at night.