After work, we took a nice stroll around the neighborhood. The perspective on foot is vastly different from driving by in our SUV. We saw people working in the market, cleaning their homes, cooking meals on open flames or taking an afternoon siesta. Most people welcomed us with a friendly “bonswa” and then went about their day.
Just as we were developing a nice sweat, we walked into a small, bedroom sized, outdoor restaurant and ordered sodas. Within minutes, we launched into banter with the 7 locals having their afternoon drinks. We talked about the hospital, the city of St. Marc, Haiti, the US, food and even politics. All in Creole! They spoke slowly and clearly, I used many of the 400 or so words I know (Lisa knows more) and we had a really nice, fun conversation.
I did not speak of my frustrations at the hospital, but as we were leaving one of the men shouted in English, “Please do not get frustrated or lose courage. You are doing a good thing for us in Haiti and we want to thank you.”
As I was walking home, I felt different…… I felt better. Just a simple conversation with random locals enabled me to develop a renewed vigor for my work.