There really are no words. I’ve tried writing this post four or five times now. I don’t know how to start or what to write. Or how to describe any of it…
How do I write about the culture shock of Haiti? How do I write about the sounds and the smells and the chaos? The streets that are teeming with people. The motorcycles, sometimes carrying three people, weaving in and out of traffic. The unofficial markets on every corner. Every square inch of sidewalk covered with people selling everything from fruit to live chickens to clothes to mattresses.
How do I write about Geurline, the woman who served us delicious (and I mean delicious!) home cooked meals every day? Or Margarette who took charge and made sure we knew exactly where we had to go and what we had to do each day? Or Frank who drove us wherever we needed to go? Who also paid for us to go to the National Museum because they wouldn’t take American dollars and we didn’t have any Haitian gourdes.
How do I explain what life is like at the crèche (orphanage)? How can I possibly tell you about all these incredible kids? All the personalities and the smiles and the need for hugs and cuddles. How can I explain how they are given everything they need to survive, but they need so much more to thrive? Thirty-two kids in one cement building, all longing for the love and personal attention they deserve. Many of them have families from all over the world, waiting anxiously to take them to their forever homes. And some are still waiting for families.
How can I describe how incredibly amazing Lucy and Sam were the whole trip? How they dealt with long flights and late drivers and a 12km commute that took over two hours thanks to the chaos of the streets of Port Au Prince? How they tried their best to communicate with everyone, even though 90% of the people we encountered didn’t speak English or French (only Creole)? How they took it all in stride because they knew it was what we had to do to be with Stanley…
How do I begin to describe Stanley, the little man who tugged at my heart strings the moment I first saw his photo and cemented his place in my heart once I met him? How can I describe the look on his face when he launched himself into Mark’s arms as soon as we walked through the door of the crèche? Or how he nestled into my arms, like he was always meant to be there?
How can I possibly explain the feeling of giving Stanley one last hug before we had to leave Haiti?
I can’t. There are no words.
(We still need to wait approximately nine months before we can bring Stanley home. I’m going to break up the wait and visit him with my sister in May.)