Ever Present Graciousness and Dignity

The Haitian cities appear chaotic to an American. Traffic flies in all directions, pedestrians and stray dogs wander into the streets, only imminent collision will cause another driver to yield.

The Haitian mountain roads offer blind curves, steep drop offs, unmarked lanes and motorbikes commanded by fearless young men.
The Haitian people are commonly impoverished, sometime illiterate, frequently compelled to do without basic necessities.
As a volunteer in the FOTCOH clinic, I have come to know some equally true, but much more subtle, things about this land and its people.
The Haitian city teems with many who forsake their rural homes searching for opportunity.
The Haitian mountain roads sometime unexpectedly open to reveal stunning vistas.
The Haitian people possess deep reserves of patience, fortitude and determination.
The patience required to wait outside, overnight for the chance to be admitted to the clinic..
The fortitude necessary to physically carry a weakened loved one for miles to see our providers.
The determination needed to take in an infant whose mother died in childbirth.
And, despite their often dire circumstances, they can do all these things with an air of graciousness and a great degree of dignity.

Matthew Lerch