Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I just finished bandaging Filos again, and Greg and Meghan sent him on his way with a happy swagger and a big baggie of food. Filos is a neighborhood kid, 12 years old, who got a terrible burn on his neck a few weeks ago. He was goofing around the cooking fire and threw some plastic in it, to “ see what would happen”. (...I guess 12 year olds are the same all over the world). Well, what happened is the plastic blew up into a cloud of flaming goo which landed on him and burned a streak from his ear down his neck to his chest. He showed up at one of Dr.Ken's rural clinics a few weeks ago. He returned to our house a week later, with the burn all yucky and infected.

Carrie, the Lakay Nou House Volunteer Coordinator, has been cleaning and medicating it daily, and it's looking much better. He shows up on our gazebo faithfully around 7 am, wearing the same ragged pair of slacks and a t-shirt. He says it's hard to sleep at night because he is hungry. His parents are both dead; he lives with some sisters, and an uncle seems to be involved also. It's clearly not a good deal, as he has never been to school, and this wound could have killed him. So each morning he is getting his wound dressed, breakfast, and a snack. Yesterday, he ambled out of here after eating an egg and avocado sandwich, a Cliff bar in his pocket for nighttime hunger. Now, we're working on getting him into Maison Fortune Orphanage and School, where we'll support him having a bunk of his own, 2 meals and school every day, with goat on Sunday. It costs $900 a year. All he has to do is show up with a set of sheets and a pillow, and have us help buy a mattress for his bunk.

I think “Filos” means “brotherly love”, human -to-human. That is So what this is about. We're connected now....and he's in first grade.


  1. I found your blog via the midwives for Haiti website. I have been reading and reading and reading, and just have to say: You are wonderful.

    You have a gift for writing that paints clear pictures, and you have something that is vital to humanitarian work: You can't change everything, but what you do change matters. I love that you keep everything in perspective.

    I grew up in a family that created "Mothers Without Borders" in Africa, so this sort of work has always been part of my life, but ever since I trained to become a doula, a whole new world has opened up for me and I hope that I can find opportunities like this to serve in the very near future!

    If we can change the way women birth, and what their babies experience in their first moments of life, we can change everything.

    Thank you for sharing these stories!

  2. Wow, Lola. Your words warm my heart. Thank you for caring to read about this country and this work. Here on my last days in Haiti-- and in Port au Prince tonight-- ii's very affirming to hear that you think I "keep everything in perspective"...I'll keep trying on that one! God Bless.