Updated: May 18, 2022
Written by: Kelsey Wilson, Executive Administrative Assistant at myLIFEspeaks
Listen to this story, here.
In 2018, I was in Haiti to photograph a wedding of one of our myLIFEspeaks employees. Unfortunately, I woke up the morning of the wedding with a virus that didn't allow me to keep food down. As the day went on, I began feeling lethargic and weak but knew I needed to push through for the bride and groom. I left to meet the bridal party at the local mango grove for photos when I urgently stopped on the side of the road of an unfamiliar village because I was feeling nauseous.
The overwhelming feeling of dehydration, heat, and embarrassment to be publicly ill was quickly interrupted by a hand resting on my shoulder. I opened my eyes to see an unfamiliar woman holding a bowl of water and motioning me to drink. She began pouring water into her hands, wiping my face, and praying over me in Creole. This woman was a complete stranger to me and came to assist me during a vulnerable moment. She was not concerned about contracting the unknown virus I had and only focused on my well-being. She was motherly, selfless, loving; everything I needed in that moment. When people think about Haiti, they probably think of the words poor, unfortunate, or helpless. I think of the woman on the side of the road.
When people think about Haiti, they probably think of the words poor, unfortunate, or helpless. I think of the woman on the side of the road.
The woman who didn’t have much to offer had offered something I didn’t know I needed at that moment. She offered her presence, kindness, grace, and gentle motherly spirit.
Haitians don’t have many tangible items to give but they do have time; time to care, time to make a difference, time to pray for someone, time to help, time to be present.
This woman gave me her time, a selfless act I am still so thankful for. Haiti, although full of hardships, is full of people like the woman on the side of the road.