By Gene Gincherman, M.D.
Emergency physician and Go Team member
While on a trip outside Port-au-Prince (PaP)during a recent medical mission to Haiti, I noticed one essential quality to people's suffering there: namely, it's essential loneliness.
It was less prevalent in PaP, where people are closer together and seem to have more of a sense of community. In smaller villages, it seemed like more people fended for themselves. Some of them seemed to spend their whole days sitting in makeshift tents, not doing much.
It seems to me that if that idleness is allowed to continue, it will lead to despair, and further suffering. One experience on this trip gave me a glimmer of hope for the future. We happened to be visiting on Sunday, a day a lot of people in Haiti go to church. As a consequence, we got to meet with five different pastors.
Considering the lack of civil authority, they seemed to be the inspiration for their communities. They were interested in every aspect of daily lives, from fulfilling the spiritual needs to providing food, medial care and building latrines.
If Haiti is going to recover and overcome not just the outcome of the earthquake, but also years of mismanagement, suffering, and corruption, they need more people like the pastors we met.