Yesterday, went to sleep with news that Haiti had been devastated by a natural disaster. A magnitude 7-earthquake crumbled the struggling nation. The small island, about the size of Maryland, was already among the list of nations at the bottom of the list for gross national product. This country has also suffered health-wise, with the 2 percent of its 25-49 year-old population HIV positive.
Is there no mercy?
Yesterday morning, while taking Khari to school, she and I passed a father and two children who were standing with a sign asking folks for money. The car in front rolled down their window and handed the father three bottled drinks. I had neither money nor food items in the car-- I am lucky if I'll be able to pay the electric bill next week. I pointed them out to Khari and explained to her what they were doing.
"They are homeless," I assumed, telling Khari that they didn't have the option of eating breakfast or not that morning. Chances are they hadn't had breakfast. The boy in the group was hungrily crunching an apple in the freezing weather as I told her this. She immediately asked if we could bring them home with us. As I thought of how to reply, my heart swelled with how easy it was for her to suggest this. No sense of boundary between what they were feeling and going through and our lives and ability to help them. She didn't imagine all of the scenarios I did-- they could be con artists, would never leave, etc.--and instead, was just in the present. I would up learning from her more than I think she did from me.
The earthquake in Haiti sparked another conversation. As I pointed to the tv screen and explained what an earthquake is, she grew silent and pensive. Finally speaking to ask is there a way we can help. "How can we save them Mommy?" I'm still trying to come up with an answer to that one.