The beginning of the rainy season has brought on many challenges for Haitians who are trying to get anywhere. Most of them take tap-taps to get around, but now that it’s raining more and the roads are becoming flooded, it’s a lot harder to find one. People in Haiti don’t like to come out when it’s raining, and understandably so, and this includes tap-tap drivers. So often the people will start walking from their houses on a rocky, muddy, puddle-filled road – often with their hands full, carrying a heavy load. When they get to the “main road” they will wait until a tap-tap comes. When there are less available, people jump on as quickly as possible to get a spot, and if you don’t make it on, then you wait again for the next one.
Our cook Marjorie leaves her house early in the morning while it is still dark, which is dangerous especially for a woman. She walks carrying her four month old baby and her things for the day. Lately she’s had a very tough time getting a tap-tap, partially because she has a baby in her arms and cannot jump on as quickly as everyone else. So many times these past few weeks she has had to walk at least half way – if not all the way – to the guesthouse. This translates into probably 4 miles in the mud, water, and yuck. Then she is on her feet all day working, and has the same challenge in order to get home.
Since her husband cannot find work, she is the only one supporting her family. So it’s not like she can just call in sick or quit in hopes of finding another job. This is it. And unfortunately many people share her same story. My heart goes out to all the Haitians who face these challenges. I am thankful that we at the guesthouse and all the Heartline facilities can offer so many jobs to so many people, although it doesn’t make getting to work any easier.
The other part of this picture I’ve described is that I never hear them complaining about how difficult things are. The only reason I know is that I ask them daily how it was getting to work. It’s amazing.
So what to do with all this information, I wish I knew. As an American, I’ve never had to face the same challenges and will never be able to relate. All I really know is that I have a lot to be thankful for, and instead of complaining about stupid, insignificant things, I need to focus my mind of being thankful for everything God has blessed me with. And though I can’t change the situation in Haiti, I can look each day for little ways to help people out.