Friday, February 5, 2010

Back from Haiti - back to "reality"?

Is this really reality what we live in? The roads, the buses, cars, perfumes, restaurants... As I was walking through the duty free shops at the airport today I realized how fake the modern world seems to me now. Hunger is now real to me, thirst is more real, but not what new bag i'm going to buy, that doesn't seem to matter anymore. Its almost as if what my old reality was, is no longer existent in my mind.

This short time I've been back from Haiti, I still have my thoughts over there and I keep comparing life here, to life there. Frankly, there's nothing to compare. They have nothing and we have everything.  The cold hard truth that i got snapped into me is that my life here in the "real world" is so simple, easy and comfortable, i have running hot water, food in a refrigerator and clothes hung up in a closet, its almost shocking to me that I never really noticed those details before and it makes me sad to think i didn't appreciate them either. I feel so gratified to know i will have food tomorrow and a place to stay, and a mother to hug.

There were so many orphans everywhere that would've given anything to just have their mother again to say I love you, and not only did they lose their home, but they lost their mother too.

So I say sit down and take a minute to really reflect on what you have (i did this) and to truly appreciate it because I can say this for a fact, I have changed, and I will never be the same.  The problems i used  have dont seem like such problems anymore and physical objects like ipods, cell phones, tvs or even just clothes are now, the least of my worries. I can see that life is more than just the material stuff. All that can be destroyed in a heartbeat just how it happened in Haiti and when you lose all your material objects and are still standing and breathing, with all 4 limbs, Id say your a pretty rich person.

My lesson was that life has nothing to do with the material, that isn't actually important and I think this is an important thing for me because now I know where my future efforts in life will head, not towards bigger and better cars but towards improving myself and improving others.

With 100% certainty, there is nothing more gratifying than knowing that you truly helped someone and made a difference in their life and after this trip to Haiti I know this wont be the last time I help in something like this, it has changed me forever, I know I was able to make a difference and I will never see life the same.


  1. Very Cool realization .
    Your High Ability to Help Is Priceless and the most valuable to you have to give yourself and others !

  2. Hello,

    I'm just writing to thank you and the others for the great work that you are doing. You are all exemplary human beings.


  3. I just found this and was deeply touched by what you've said here. It is real and beautiful. You've given anyone who reads this a true feel for what it is to really help others - to share part of yourself to make life better. Thank you for everything you've done and everything you will do, and for inspiring the rest of us.

  4. Hi Ellen! I came across your blog while doing some research on how to volunteer in Haiti. You've done a wonderful job and love that you've kept a diary of your volunteer efforts. Truly inspirational!

    I live in Lebanon and can't seem to find the right program to get out there from here. Any tips for who to contact for more info? My email is:

    Thank you!