Lush Souls in Haiti

via Daily Prompt: Lush

As we walked the winding roads toward the area of the waterfall I could not help but see many carrying water jugs on top of their heads or bundles of laundry in their arms. Women and children all working in this lush jungled area seemed to not be burdened by the weight of their wares even though the extreme heat alone was taking me for a loss of strength.  Moving on and seeing the floral vines draping the gated entrances to the homes of those with means to afford them caused me to ponder why so many lived in such poverty and others with such means to support their riches alongside them.  Glancing within those locked gates revealed huge homes, some with armed guards at the gates. Broken glass bottles and objects that would cut you lined the tops of fences and gates. Those who had wanted to keep out those who did not. Moving on we came upon the area where the stream from the waterfall began.  Here clothes recently washed lay drying on the rocks awaiting being carried home to where there was no running water nor pipes. Women knelt on bended knee by the water side washing their loved ones belongings by hand all the while watching their children bathe nearby. Young men stood awaiting a possible young lady coming near to bathe. Further back the spillway area of the falls came into site and the walking became more difficult to  maneuver. Rocks were wet here and fresh moisture abounded.  Something you did not see where we slept. There the only fluids were those from the local homes. Waste water mixed with occasional rain were things you avoided when walking. Soon the sound of the falls became audible. Our tour guides began to desire to run to get there. We were all hot and the cool waters were quite desirous.  Taking off my shoes, placing my feet in the cool waters,  I began to photograph the lush vegetation all around us.  The trees and shrubs were thick and made me think of when I taught my students back in the states about the rain forest.  Birds chattered, seeming to laugh, as the young tour guides climbed the rocks and slid down on an area that was smooth from erosion. I watched these young men. I knew that they had survived the earthquake in Haiti just a few years before and that they lived in homes unlike most in America had never seen. I watched them laugh and giggle as they slid again and again down the Disney resort like natural falls. I smiled knowing that here they seemed to love life unlike any I had ever met.  Here, in the lush waterfall zone I learned that their life was filled with struggles but also full of joy.  In life they worked hard and played hard. They had to carry water to their homes, they ate infrequently, had no medical support nor an infrastructure of a modern country but what they did have was this lush respite to which they could come if even but for a short tour with an American. It was there I was surrounded by lushness. But it was not just the vegetation that I found it in. It was also in the souls of those young men.

Author: tbi479/survivor

Recently diagnosed with a Traumatic Brain Injury following a roll over I had to leave my career as a Special Education teacher and move into the realm of the unemployed. Having now experienced the topic of a TBI from both sides I am moving into sharing my insights to help others. Teaching the students with a TBI gave me some awareness but not near what I have learned from walking a mile in their shoes. Being unable to teach I have thus committed myself to this blog and to helping how I am able. I hope you glean something from my posts. Love to all.

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