Culture Shock

Children I would like to introduce you to Kaiti Rees.

Kaiti was on La Gonave, in the village of Source a Philipe for 30 days with her team sponsored by the Wesley Foundation. Kaiti along with other members of her team became invaluable during our mission and our entire team felt God placed us together in this community for a reason. We cherished every moment spent together, I personally am humbled by this womans service to others and was proud to know her, if even for a little while.

With that being said; when those of you ask why we seem glum since returning, when those of you dont understand that a few are sad or mopey from this experience please understand it is not because we didnt succeed, please understand it is not because it was a horrible experience, please take a moment to recognize during this time (and ours was short compared to others) the human spirit touched many of us in different ways. The human condition, remains etched in our brains, the tradgedy left behind will always be left to question. all we have when we return is the knowledge we completed our task, God guided our outcome and that we remain “faithful” in our beliefs.

This is an excerpt from Kaiti’s personal experience and I beleive it says word for word what many are feeling.

Last night I pulled the covers up over my legs. I was cold. When I woke up from a bad dream I turned the lights on as I checked the house for monsters.

I woke up in the morning to the sound of rain- no roosters or donkeys or dogs or creole commotion. I realized for the first time in a month I hadn’t watched the sun set. Over an ocean. A mountain, such beauty.

Last night at the restaurant the waitress asked me what I wanted to eat. It took half an hour to decide.

I took a shower this morning. It was hot. Too hot. When I got out I dried off and stayed dry.

I went to the bathroom and put the toilet paper in the bowl. I flushed even though I only peed.

I opened my closet to pick out some clothes. More than anyone needs. Why do I have all of these?

I need to go to the grocery store, even though my pantry is still full of food.

I walk to the door but change my mind. I don’t want to go outside. There will be no “bonjou”s or “ka-tee”s. There will be no little hands reaching for me.

And i can’t help but wonder if the girls or Franslaine have eaten today.

My fiancé pulls me in tight. Kisses me goodnight. I roll over and actually sleep. I know he’s here holding me. But I dream about Haiti and I dream about her. Baby born and died in a bucket, how many more?

I keep looking at pictures and don’t know which stories to tell. Everyone wants to see smiles, hear it went well. But there’s a pain behind my smiles and I don’t know how to cry. So glad to be home, but still wondering why.

I want to run and not stop for an hour. A day. A week. I want to scream and stay silent. I want to sleep with no dreams. I want others to know and understand these memories.
I look at Becky’s stomach. 4 months to go. How can I not be exited? How can I not be sad? The same stomach Madame Jackson had.

I’m typing a note on my phone in the shower. No boys carried this water to a barrel above. No one will care how long it runs. No one will see the tears washed away in the scum. The shower walls and floor are white. No dirty rag or stains of mud. No cinder block window to let in the wind or sun. There’s no lizards and crickets to share my space. No rush to get out. No agenda awaits.
Culture shock hits you when the rest catches up. Checking the time but you’re not sure why it wont go. Sit in front of a tv you don’t watch. Eat what you want but i doesn’t fill you back up. You’ve poured out more of your heart than you know. The getting it back. It’s hard and it’s slow.

But you don’t want It back, and there lies the beauty. You want it changed- and that takes getting used to.
So you sit and you pray as you turn off the shower. Turn off lights you don’t need to use anymore. Pick a simple t-shirt and jeans from the closet to wear. Walk out the door, forgetting to even do your hair.

Life will go on both here and there. A life that’s unequal. A life that’s unfair.”

Thank You Kaiti- God Bless you..

 

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