Experiencing Haiti By Kirby Knies

I have written many drafts of this article trying to find the best words to describe Haiti. As I have discovered, it is not easily described. Haiti is not just a place, but something you have to experience for yourself in order to grasp it.

Haiti is a country that is poor in material things, but rich in love. And that is best exemplified through the children. When we walked into a school, the students would stay back at first, but once we started playing with them, we virtually had to peel them off! If laughter could cure disease, their laughter would do it.

In the afternoons, we spent time at the new Tek4Kids technical school varnishing desks and painting. The students at the school want to change their country. This is proven in how dedicated they are to their schooling. Even though class is over at 1:00, many of the students stay well into the evening. When asked where they want to work after the graduate, almost all of them responded that they want to stay in Haiti.

As we ventured outside of Jeremie a little more, we saw the poorer parts of Haiti. While we were in a little village on a mountaintop, we visited an overcrowded, ill-equipped one room medical clinic. The waiting line spilled out onto the front porch.

Going to Haiti has really put into perspective how much we take for granted back here at home. We have everything we need and more, yet many people are still unhappy. The Haitians struggle day to day trying to survive and yet, they are the most joyous people I have ever encountered. They take nothing for granted and thank God for what they have.

Saint Teresa of Calcutta said, “Intense love does not measure, it just gives.” The people of Haiti have such an intense love that all they do it seems, is give. — Kirby Knies, a Tek4Kids volunteer who recently traveled to Jeremie, Haiti with a group from her parish

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