Jono went with the Haiti team to a tent city yesterday. It didn't go very well.
He is the youngest, and possibly the lightest-skinned, person in their group. And apparently his white skin was something the children at the tent city had never seen before. (All the white people they see are adults, perhaps?) They all crowded around him and wanted to touch him, which he didn't like very much. He was with our friend, Vincent, who is a huge African American man with muscles that don't seem to have diminished since he played football for Baylor back in the day. Jono got a little scared and buried his head in Vincent's stomach for protection.
Seeing how Jono was frightened, and how the Haitian kids were not deterred by this, Vincent took him to the van for refuge. David went with him and The M showed up as well because she was feeling nauseated from something she ate. So sick mama and scared son sat in the hot van for three hours while the rest of the team met with people in the tent city.
The M said she had never seen such squalor: grown women bathing naked in a river in plain sight, sewage and mud everywhere, hopelessness, and voodoo, etc.. She met a 15 year old girl who lost her mother in the earthquake. She doesn't know where her father is, so now she is raising her younger sister alone in the tent city.
Later that night The M started running a fever. (She has since started an antibiotic called Cipro that will nuke all the bacteria in her GI tract. I'm glad I recommended she get that prescription filled before she left.)
Between the fever and the squalor and the knowledge that her son had a scary experience, she was emotionally exhausted. With one of the other lady's from the team, she cried in her hotel room for a long time Sunday night. I wish I was there to comfort her. I feel out of control, but perhaps that was part of the plan...
(All photos copyright by Tiffany Bonow, used with permission)