Not for the Faint of Heart – Women in Haiti

John Porter Blog Leave a Comment

Life is hard for Haitians. The tasks we consider easy and convenient often present Haitians with difficulty. I can remember driving on a dusty road with possible donors, hoping to interest them in our work. I always hire a Haitian driver when in Haiti, for two reasons. One, driving in Haiti presents challenges as there are bewildering traffic congestions, no clear signage, no clear right of way and literally thousands of pedestrians travelling along and traversing the crowded roads. Two, hiring a Haitian driver offers a Haitian a paid employment opportunity. It is a good thing to do. Our vehicle was going at a rapid clip, leaving a trail of swirling dust in our wake. Down the road were three young women carrying home their washing from the river, heavy baskets balanced on their heads. Our driver leaned on the horn and the girls turned to see us coming. Slowly they climbed up a small rise to allow our truck to pass. I waved a greeting. They waved in return. As I looked back, they were lost in a sea of dust. Dirt all over their laundry and, I assume, themselves. Life in Haiti presents challenges. What is alarming is the stark fact that one in sixteen Haitian women (1 in 16) face the risk of dying during childbirth. Less than 25% of births in Haiti are attended by skilled attendants and midwives. There are simply not enough doctors and nurses. In Haiti, poverty is no one’s fault. But it is still relentlessly grinding, wearing away confidence and happiness. What wonderful people the Haitians are! We can learn so much from them: Patience! Endurance! Love! Acceptance! Courage! Haitians have many simple sayings that teach valuable lessons: Bitay fe ou vanse. A stumbling fall still moves you forward.

Bondye beni w.   God bless you.      John Porter

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