Fresh Meaning To The Phrase "Dirt Poor"
This week's tragedy in Haiti is giving us all the opportunity to learn about a hemispheric neighbor that way too many of us put on the 'no mind' list.
Yes, there are many of you who have done missionary/relief work in Haiti, thanks to exchange programs set up through Southeastern Wisconsin churches. My parish, St. Mary in Hales Corners, has been active in Haiti for years, having adopted a parish in Latibliere. A group, headed up by family friend Pam Lownik, was to leave Wednesday for a fresh tour of duty before finding out about the earthquake and canceling the mission. Pam has been on me for years to come along. The stories she and others who've made the trip have are pretty sobering. It's hard to imagine the kind of poverty Haitians were struggling with BEFORE the latest natural calamity, much less trying to wrap your head around what it's like there now in the quake-ravaged areas.
Now, there's a 7.0 tremor to deal with.
I posted this piece a bunch of months ago, back when Haiti's biggest problem was rising food prices. The poor were literally left to eat dirt as the basics became too expensive.
You've got to wonder what some of these folks are having to resort to now. And, if there's a bit of compassion in your heart, you've got to say a prayer.