Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Madame Meristel's Burns

Not great photo. Blame the photographer.
This is Madame Meristel. She cleans our house. You may remember that just a month or two ago, you guys bought her a new roof after hers was blown off in Hurricane Sandy.

This morning I saw her on campus. I heard her call my name, turned around, and literally gasped.

In her tank top, I could see that her chest is covered with a large, yellow, raw burn.

Spread out your fingers and put your hand on your heart. That's how big the burn is. It was disgusting. Her wrist was also burned, about the size of a half dollar. That burn was oozing yellow. I smelled it, and my scent-brain told me it smelled like the earthquake.

Her first words: "I cannot come to work tomorrow."

No kidding.

I asked her what happened, and she kept saying "kouran", which means electricity, so I pointed to the electrical wires above us and tried to ask if it fell. She said a bunch of words I knew but I couldn't make a meaning. I asked if she had medicine and she said something that sounded like kind of like amoxicillin. I walked her down to the nurse's office and thanked God that Miquette was on duty.

Miquette got the story. She was ironing and somehow fell. The scalding iron fell on top of her. Miquette asked if she had been to the hospital, and Madame Meristel just looked at the ground. We can all guess the answer, and we can all guess why. Miquette said, "You are going to the hospital right now."

Here I am on the first day of school, walking around campus in new clothes with my Mac, helping 11th graders decide between genetics and French 3. Then all of a sudden I'm slapped in the face with the knowledge that I'm on an island of wealth, smack in the middle of the poorest country in the world.

This was about twenty minutes ago. I'll keep you posted.



  1. Oh my goodness. We will lift her up in prayer tonight at my bible study!!

  2. Totally praying. That's scary.

    P.S. Loved reading your travel post. Miss you, friend!




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