So after Dajabon we headed to the road that acts as the border for Haiti. It was the most intense drive of my life. First of all, because the road was completely ridiculous hahah. But what made it so intense was the things we saw. Haiti is an extremely poor country. I have never seen poverty like what we saw today.
When we were driving, we were constantly being chased down by kids asking us for money. They were probably about 5, if not younger. They were skinny, and had bloated stomachs, which shows the malnutrition and starvation they were faced with. Everytime I looked at them, all I could think about was what I was doing when I was 5. I was learning to ride a bike, and crying because I didn’t want to go to dance class [I have always been a terribly awkward dancer]. And these kids are chasing down buses and cars begging for anything. It broke my heart.
On the way back, Elfi (our bus driver, aka coolest guy ever), pulled over the bus because he wanted to buy mangos from a family on the side of the road. He bought 82 mangos. 82 MANGOS. hahah. But while were stopped, a woman, probably in her 60’s, came over to the bus and came up to our open windows. She reached inside and just kept repeating, “Algo? Algo?” Which means anything. She was asking us to give her anything.
She was right in front of me, and there was nothing I could do. It was so hard. It made everything so real. It is one thing to see that sort of poverty on TV, or even through a bus window. But when her hands are open right in front of you, asking for anything you can give…it really hit me.
We have seen too much to not make a difference. It is hard, and it’s not a comfortable situation to be put in, but if we can use what we have seen to make any sort of change, it will be worth it.