I went back to Ti Riv for the first time since 2013, when I originally came to Haiti with OLMC. I don’t know what I expected, but my expectations were met in some ways and destroyed in others. First, you should know that the clinic has been shut down indefinitely for threeish months now (which isn’t uncommon in Haiti, sadly–currently many hospitals are closed due to staff being on strike because they’re not getting paid–which is NOT the case with this clinic). It’s incredibly unfortunate in so many ways. So I went back with my Haiti boss, his wife, and the clinic director to bring some food to the guard and housekeeper who have been living there making sure no one breaks in, etc. I remembered the place as being so busy, joyous, hopeful, and just full of life as a whole. What I saw today…wasn’t any of those things. I know they left early, but the only unlocked examination room looked like they had fled in the middle of an appointment (fun fact: it was also the room I shadowed Wes in and learned so much about medicine). A really expensive full-head x-ray scanner thing (excuse my totally non-medical terminology) was outside covered in cobwebs, leaves, and dirt. There were a few large trash bags and boxes full of (empty?) prescription bottles sitting outside. The lawn was completely overgrown. It seemed lifeless.
And yet there was so much beauty! There were gorgeous flowers, palm trees, and shells, just like I remembered. The water was sparkling blue, just as it had been when Taylor and I walked the beach one morning. The housekeeper and guard were smiling–so thrilled to see us! The dog was so excited that she was running around in circles, to the point of which I couldn’t even get a picture of her. The familiar sounds of Haiti were present–the car horns, bells, roosters, and waves crashing against the shore. There was life, just not the kind I remembered as much. It was a great, humbling reminder that life isn’t just the people.
Also, how perfect is it that today is the birthday of TWO people I was so blessed to get to know on my first trip to Ti Riv?!? Happy birthday, Connie and Kristina!
Ti Riv forever.