Friday, May 21, 2010

Ravine, Part 2

The second half of my visit to the ravine community behind our house church.

The remarkable thing to me when talking to Haitians about what happened to them on January 12th is how matter-of-fact they are when they tell of how they escaped death, or lost a home or a loved one. The shock, the numbness is still there.

Kieshna lead me over to her house. Walking up to it, it seems nothing is wrong. The front door is there, the west wall is standing in the shadow of a larger building. Then Keishna took me around to the back.
Nothing was standing. Pieces of the walls lay on the ground, and the neighbors' house was a mound of fractured blocks.

We stood in the hot sun and Keishna told me (through Dominique) how she lived in this two-room house with her family of 5.They waited until the shaking stopped, then ran out. She said she was thankful to be alive and gave credit to God.

I asked again, "everyone made it out okay?" Not believing that this place could be rocked so hard and no one be hurt. Keishna says yes. But then she added that her brother had been walking home from school at the time of the quake, and has never been found.

She tells me all of this in a very flat tone. No sense of sadness or mourning or anything. She shared her story with the same emotion that I would share the weather.
As I stood there, with Keishna's house in front of me, the remains of her next door neighbor's home underneath my feet, and the rubble of her neighborhood all around me, I lost it. I kept thinking- what happened here? Why is  the world like this? Why hasn't anyone helped them? Why isn't she sad?

I acted like I was sweating and used my shirt to wipe away all the moisture that was on my face. Both tears and sweat. I was just at a loss for words.

The weight of everything I saw that day pressed down on me like the weight of so much concrete. None of it was new to me, but on the walk with Keishna and Dominique I felt like I was seeing the earthquake for the first time again.
Haiti has a very long way to go. In closing, here are a few more pictures that I loved but couldn't find an exact way to work into the story. Thank you.

-B

3 comments:

  1. Thank you to both of you for continuing to post - I read every word and appreciate what you are writing. It's hard to read but I need to read it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Keep reading until you are back. Then we can just share chocolate.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ben,
    Thank you for your posts.
    As Ruth says "It's hard to read".
    I may never step foot in Haiti but somehow I think in my own way I weep as deeply as I think both you & Ruth do.
    I am grateful to you both for your blogs.
    I continue to pray that you will have your time to share chocolate soon.
    Vicky

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