Originally posted on Headshave for Haiti:
This time next week – local time, not UK time, though I haven’t worked that difference out yet – we will be on the plane from in Miami to Port au Prince. As it gets closer the weight of what we are doing seems to grow. It is more a sense of responsibility than fear now – though Martin has been dreaming that all the white people in the team get killed and eaten! His anxiety is coming out in the night, whereas I am feeling a physical weight as if my “pet elephant” is sitting on my stomach and I have to keep stopping to take deep breaths and tell myself not to panic!
It’s so important to remind myself I am one little woman and I cannot ‘save the world’, nor am I being asked to. The enormity of the task can easily overwhelm one’s sense of reality. Many, many people have been out to help in Haiti over the years – we hear more stories all the time. It is as easy to go to the ‘we are the ones who are going to make the real difference’ extreme as it is to err on the ‘what difference can we possibly make?’ side. All I know is I have given what I can and I am willing to go and see what we can do and we’ll just have to see where it leads from here.
It was a choice we made – not a thoughtless impulse but a deliberate and serious response to the “Will you come and help us?” that we’d heard. It is undoubtedly a life-changing decision and although we don’t know exactly what that means yet, this anticipation is surely as much to do with coming to terms with an altered personal future as with having to face the pain of encountering human hunger, suffering and poverty. As with any major fork in the path, there are some things we are having to die to – just as I have had to die to my old red hair… maybe that is what Martin’s subconscious mind is picking up!