Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Amoeba, & Roaches, & Mice, Oh, My!

Whew, about once or twice a year, we end up coming down with some illness related to the lack of sanitary conditions in Haiti. And two weeks ago we got it! Apparently, someone we had asked to purchase ice for us in the city as a treat, succeded in spilling it on the ground and then bringing it to us anyway. Unfortunately, by the time I figured out that the ice was not clean, my whole household had come down with all the symptoms of amoeba!
Lest anyone doubt, these little buggies make you feel miserable for quite some time.
I was commisserating with a fellow American living down here and she cracked me up saying this is the only place she's ever been that when one gets sick, the cure is worse than the actual disease. Too true! We've both been ill at different times with some parasite from water or mosquitoes and the treatment of pills for a few days makes you feel worse than the disease.
How thankful I am for the treatment though and now we're all pretty much up to par again!
In all the years I have been around here, I have to say it's the tiniest pests you can't see that make you feel the worst!
All the above complaining aside though, I have to admit that God is so gracious to us! When I first moved to Haiti with an infant daughter ten years ago, I was very conscious of the variety of maladies that existed here. It surprised me then to calculate that compared to my friends in the states, my children are actually sick much less than theirs! We get sick about twice a year whereas my friends are always bemoaning how ill their children are (5-6 times) annually.
One stark difference though, is that so many of my neighbors here in Haiti do not have the resources to take their children quickly to the hospital. And after being ill last week, I still stand in awe of my Haitian brothers and sisters, who manage to go on every day, in the face of such challenges. Many of them feel worse than I did last week, and still get up to praise God on Sundays. Yesterday in church, there was an older woman who came up for prayer, barely able to walk. She told a story of how she'd been walking down the road and suddenly fell down, (stroke?) Someone found her and carried her to the local hospital and they managed to revive her. This poor woman could not sit straight up in a chair, but the first words out of her mouth were: "When you follow the Lord, you have what you need...."
Humbling to all that observed, especially me.

1 comment:

Samantha said...

Hello! There is a group at my school, Butler University, that is organizing a trip to Haiti over spring break. This is something I really want to do, but my parents are very reluctant. They say that the crime is high and the chances of me catching a disease are extremely high. I feel as though although risks are high, they are high most anywhere. Just driving your car is a threat to your life. They also believe that I won't get that much done and help very much in just one week. I was wondering what you think about all of this, and hopefully you could tell me something that might sway my parents' support on me going to Haiti for just one week. Thank you so much.

Samantha