Port au Prince, Haiti Day 2 Trip 2

Its been a long day. When the word got out that I had returned I had non-stop sessions. People describe a weariness, a plateau of sorts, as they feel a bit more stability and yet continue to be surrounded by a city fallen down. “I go on because I must but its not easy.” Men, Women, children–all exhausted. How long can so many people remain exhausted and continue to clean up their home and try to rebuild their lives?

The groundskeeper returned today and described a very long night because he felt the earth moving most of the night. At times he could not discern if the earth moved, or the memory of the earthquake “moved in his body.” Many people describe feeling the earth trembling and knowing that its not–that its inside their bodies. Dizziness accompanies this sensation.

Back to the groundskeeper–he was again unable to sleep and this caused him distress as he felt he “was going backwards.” He described the details of the long night; his fear, his conversations with God; his attempts to rub the tightness between his eyes away–tightness from not being able to close his eyes and rest them for more than a little while, literal pain in his eyelids because they are forced open so much, pain in his body from sleeping in a seated position because the ground is now wet and he is afraid the water will run over him and carry him away. He has sent his child to the provinces, where he has shelter, because of the rains. He is alone now.

We talked about “the long road”, and patience, and trusting that we may not know answers, or why, and the importance of faith in holding on. He has learned that prayer, and the little bottle of oil he carries in his pocket, helps. He described how he used the oil between his eyes to calm the tension, to help them rest, and how he smells it when he feels the trembling because it calms his spirit. He says its a bottle of “good memories.” He asked if I could return for a long time–a year maybe–so that everyone on the team had someone to listen to them.

I wonder about recording stories, so the world can be inspired by this bravery. Every day for every Haitian is an act of profound courage.

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