Perspectives from Haiti: Having So Little, Having So Much

This week in Haiti has taught me more about how to treat patients than I ever could have imagined.  I had never been on a mission trip prior to Haiti, so I really had no idea what to expect.  I imagined Haiti to be plain and desolate; the people to be broken and hopeless.  When we went to church on Sunday, I realized I was completely wrong.  Upon seeing us in the pews, the orphans ran up to us and claimed us as their own.  The adults at church had smiles on their faces and were enthusiastically singing worship songs.

As we pulled into our first clinic of the week, Haitians were lined up waiting to be seen.  We immediately jumped into seeing patients.  It surprised me that even though there was a language barrier, I could pick up on their ailments rather quickly. The patients were very thankful for our services.  Holly said it best “in America, a lot of patients are not thankful and we often forget why we got into medicine and PA school”.  Her words really resonated with me, as I often get lost in seeing patients and forget why I actually wanted to be a PA.  I wanted to help people and make a difference in their lives, no matter how small that difference was.

Kinsley had said “God made Haiti beautiful and had good intentions for the country, but the sin of people has made Haiti the third world country it is today”. I fell in love with the beauty of Haiti this week.

The joy of the Haitians had the biggest impact on me.  They have so little.  Obtaining clean drinking water is difficult.  The children at the orphanage had been abandoned and were unwanted.  Dou Dou always had a smile on his face, even after cleaning up our bathrooms after two days with no running water.  All of this made me realize how much I take for granted in America.  We have so much more than the Haitians and orphans, yet we are not thankful.  Seeing their joy in the midst of such poor conditions has given me a new perspective on approaching my life in America.

Ashley Romano

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