The images, the memories, the faces, the names, the stories. Haiti, with all its wonder, its brutality, its beauty, its pain, is back on my heart and in my mind. Not that it has ever been gone.
The memories made inside the bus as we learned each other's names and tendencies towards motion sickness.
Looking at that North Carolina Public School bus, riding in that bus on the kidney-splitting, bumpy roads of Haiti, and disembarking from that bus into four days of life in the tiny town of Bayonnais, I found myself asking, in the words of Mother Mary, "How can this be?"
The images seen from the bus on our way to Bayonnais: the photos above and below were taken from opposite sides of the bus on the same stretch of road.
They are all back - those beautiful and handsome and serious faces, those colorful shirts, and their ready smiles and strong handshakes.
Watching a brief, but fiery faculty meeting outside the school at Nicholas. Apparently, faculty members frequently arrive late. Apparently, the tardy arrival of teachers is frowned upon. That morning, they were reminded of their teacherly responsibilities. I don't speak Creole, but I could feel the heat emanating from that corner of the school grounds.
I remember looking back at that building and thinking: How can that possibly be a school? What do they do when it rains?
Standing next to the building from the previous photo, I saw this view down into the valley. Then I wondered, how can they concentrate on schoolwork from this vantage point?
Making our way down from the higher mountain school to the lower mountain school, the view was both bleak and beautiful. I didn't know such a combination was possible until I was in Haiti.
Tonight, the Haiti team is having a reunion, so I have no choice but to be thinking about it again.
To be thinking about them again. They are back. I'm glad.