Home > About me, Christianity, Missions > Things I Learned in Haiti #3

Things I Learned in Haiti #3

September 11, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

This is post number three of what will probably be four total things – unless for some reason in the next 24 hours I figure out something else I learned…anyways – here goes it. 

We neglect relationships.  I’m not really all that close to people here.  As mentioned in the other posts – we’re all too busy and distracted.  I have a cell phone, a laptop, a MySpace, a Facebook, a blog, a Twitter.  To communicate with people I call them, I text them, I message them, I comment them, or I update my status.  Where’s the face to face contact?  Where’s the time where I just sit, without a television, computer, movie, or some other distraction to just hang out?  

The Haitian people are close people.  They’re lucky that they’re not distracted.  I realized just how close the Haitians were.  It is absolutely amazing.  

Me and my Professor Shaylah

Me and my Professor Shaylah

They love to walk arm in arm, hand in hand with one another.  It’s a sign of close friendship.  On day one, when Elda, a five year old girl grabbed my hand, I knew I had her friendship.  On the other hand was her close friend (a little boy who’s name I have forgotten).


 Sure, I was an American young guy paying attention to these kids, but culturally I had achieved friendship.  It’s even more amazing to see two men or two women walk down the road holding hands, linking arms.  In America, we write that off as “different.”  Yes, culturally, but nonetheless, the genuine relationships that I viewed down there were truly amazing.  

Not just the physical touch with one another, but the fact that they truly enjoy spending time with one another.  I can’t think of how many times that I’ve ever been content just sitting and talking to someone without being distracted by a television, computer, etc.  Yes, it has happened many times, but the majority of the times, our fellowship is revolving around such mediums (even food if you’re a good Christian).  Yet, down there, sitting on the front porch of the house, I was so content with just having little kids around me and communicating with them.  Here, I feel the need to be distracted.  Even when I am on the computer, I have to have the television on.  It’s too lonely.  There’s the need for those things.  Yet, to see these relationships in Haiti blossom on a front porch, and two kids just sit and talk, or just sit and not say anything, and just be completely content in one another’s company was truly a blessing. 

We neglect relationships.  Could you be closer to your friends?  How do you spend time with people?  Do you value the communication through face-to-face contact?  Do you just enjoy sitting, not saying a word with someone?  Do you feel the need to be distracted when you spend time with someone?  For me, I want to change.  I want to have deeper relationships revolving around…people.  

Me and Sonia

Me and Sonia


Some of my closest friends are in Haiti.  There’s my professor of Creole, Shaylah, a ten year old who just sat, and laughed, and attempted to teach me how to say Creole words while I responded incorrectly, and then gave her the English word, to which she said it with a very “islandish” accent.  It was amazing.  And then there is Sonia, my little girl from the orphanage who never talks much.  I think she’s said “Wi, Ryan (pronounced Wyans), and Bye-Bye.”  Yet, she’s a good friend of mine.  Usually she just sits there and doesn’t say a word.  But she’s content.  I don’t know, it’s just amazing.  


Anyways, maybe this is just a personal thing to me.  Maybe you see things differently.  But I see a value in relationships.  We neglect them.  We should stop.

  1. September 12, 2008 at 10:54 am

    social networking serves a purpose, but it is so sterile in some ways. spending time with friends in real-life situations has so many nuances that technology just doesn’t capture. i’m enjoying hearing about your trip.

  2. Anonymous
    September 24, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    i think it’s awesome. That was very insperational

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