Most of my trip to Hispaniola was spent in the Dominican Republic. Through one of Katie Martin's contacts, Damien, we visited an orphanage in the DR which cared for Haitian children orphaned or injured by the earthquake. On the first day of our visit, these kids really grew on me. Their smiles, vibrant spirits and spunk really pulled at my heart strings.
We spent the that first day, doing different activities with the kids. Face painting. Makeovers. Manicures and pedicures. Just having an all around good time with the kids. There's something to say about the attitudes of these children. They've been through such indescribable tragedies, but yet they continue to find joy in life. That's someone most of cannot attest to. With lost jobs or a failing business or someone cutting us off in traffic... we let the smallest things eat away us. We fail to find joy. We fail to see the bright side of situations. We have so much, yet we're ungrateful for family, friends and opportunities.
Another thing that stuck out to me... Although my heart goes out to these children and their experiences, I was reminded of all the orphaned and injured children closer to home. Do I care about the orphans in the Bay Area like I'd care about these children? How hypocritical of me to fly thousands of miles to help those in need, when there are people all around me in the Bay Area and US who are in the same need of care and attention.
There are people suffering everywhere in the world. It's a shame that sometimes we care more about strangers in another country than people like our neighbors. And it's an even greater shame that we take so much for granted.