There just comes a point where you have to jump onboard. I have sat back for a couple of years and watched a few medical friends of mine on Facebook make regular jaunts to Haiti to volunteer. I’ve looked at the pictures, read the posts, and thought, ‘Geez, I really should do that myself someday.’ Well, in keeping with my new found belief that “shoulds” don’t take care of themselves, I’m going. I’m joining the team, and our flight leaves Nashville on October 4th. It’s a week, and one that I fully expect will change my perspective on – well – just about everything.
Another reason why I’m going is because I need a swift kick in the comp-ASS-ion. Aside from my new found love for writing, I’m an RN by trade, and I have worked in the US and Canada for over 20 years – mostly in critical care. It’s a tough gig, and although we don’t talk about it, or most people prefer not to hear it, there’s a large incidence of secondary post-traumatic stress disorder in this profession – “secondary” in that we observe the primary trauma of others over and over again for years on end. It leads to compassion fatigue. I suffer from it – I know I do – I want to fix that. It’s time to open my heart up again.
I also want to get a more global feel for the human experience. We have it pretty damned good here in North America – admit it. So good, in fact, that we tend to take it for granted. I actually had someone say to me the other day that “The government really should provide some kind of babysitting service for people who have to go to the doctor and don’t have anyone available to watch their kids.” Just one example of the many ongoing incentives I have to appreciate how lucky I am to live here.
So, why not help those that are close to home? Why travel to a high risk area to look after perfect strangers? The world’s a small place, and these folks are our neighbors. I’ve contributed to the community in my own backyard for years; now it’s time to cross the street. I want to give love, spread love, and feel love – the genuine kind. The real humanity based version. Regardless of what I find, I’m showing up.
There will be some fun on this trip as well. I’m really lucky to have a good friend of mine from Canada joining me in Haiti; a good friend who’s on a really cool journey of his own. Regan will be traveling across the US and Canada over the next year in a motor home on a mission to make a thousand friends. I’ll let you read all about it on his website, but I’m blessed to get to travel down to Nashville on the first leg of the journey and have him bring me back home again after Haiti. Cut and paste his website into your browser for more on this cool adventure:
Please note that all of the Haiti pictures in this blog were taken by Tara Johnson who is an RN that has made the trip with the team herself. I consider her a friend, and a great photographer. Thank-you, Tara.