“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” -Mother Teresa
Here is an article written by Avriel Burlot - a communications volunteer in the Dominican Republic. Avriel has been at the home for over a year now and is planning on completing a second year as well. She is one of the best volunteers the NPH DR home has- from her smile, ability to get many things done at once and her love for the children.
That weekend Kristen, Madelon and I went to Batey Monte Cristi, La Varsa and Nuevo to play with the kids there. These are all areas I’m sure sound familiar because I mention them a fair amount on the blog but over the year I have gotten to know some of these kids and families very well. We played with bubbles, read Dr. Seuss and colored. These kids define the idea of enjoying the simplest things. That was pretty much the highlight of the weekend and the rest was just some relaxing, girls night and prepping for Haiti.
To preface this next part though, one of my kiddos in Santa Maria just recently passed away. His last few weeks were hard and I haven’t really been able to process it all, let alone write about it, until ahorita (nowish). Two weeks ago Berhman was in the hospital again and the doctor in Santo Domingo said that there was nothing more we could do and he was reaching his last days. Normally when our Santa Maria children leave back to Haiti they take the bus but Berhman wouldn’t have been able to make that trip so we got him on the next flight out. My last hour with my little man was spent him resting on my lap and the two of us singing to Justin Bieber (a common pass time of ours when he was in the hospital too). This is how I want to remember him, his genuine smile and overall strength to go through what no one should ever have to go through. The good byes at the airport were rough but he made it on the flight safely and was soon after in the loving arms of his father. This was two Tuesday’s ago.
That following Monday I was off to Haiti again. We arrived after a long ride and complications at the border and the first piece of news I was given was that Berhman had passed away that morning at 6AM. He was surrounded by his family and loved ones and thanks to the doctors, he was able to pass peacefully and I hope painless. He’ll always be my little man and I miss him so much already but at the same time I know he is in a better place.
I let this information saturate but I had to keep moving along with what I needed to do in Haiti. The week was good. Productive meetings with the doctors and social workers, playing cards with my kids in the hospital and at FWAL, soccer and even a few hours up at Kenscoff. Also, we had a Santa Maria reunion and nearly ten of my kids who have passed through the program were all together, with their mothers, at the same time. All happy and healthy. I was so happy that I nearly cried. Pause, I did cry. This program, Casa Santa Maria, is fuerte but I love it with all of my heart. It does embody the quote that I mentioned above.
So Haiti came and went and then I was back in the DR. Everyone is doing well here. One of the older boys in my house moved up to an older boys house and we got a new kiddo, SANTOS! We went to the beach on Saturday which was a blast but sadly cut short due to a big storm. Also, Nicki, an ex volunteer, is back to visit and we are going to hopefully do some fun house activities with her.
Sending tons of love home and it has been decided that I will be home for a little vaca in late winter! WOO!
Everybody Wants a Thrill