As I said a couple hours ago, we headed to Sisters of Charity – a Catholic orphanage in Jacmel. The babies there, predictably, broke my heart. There were children that had to be at least 2 and a half years old… who don’t really walk. Babies that are two, that look like 9 months old. They’re malnourished. They have scabies. The skin hangs off their legs. We weren’t allowed to take pictures – on some levels, I’m grateful.
We fed them oatmeal. I was feeding one little boy, and got sidetracked for just a second and stepped away. When I came back, he was crying – but not making a sound. I had heard about the silent tears that orphans learn to cry – they just understand that it isn’t going to do any good because no one will hear them. So when they cry, they don’t make any noise at all. It was heartbreaking.
I had a little girl strapped to my chest, one little boy on my hip, and another little boy holding my hand. The two little boys couldn’t make eye contact. They had amazing eyes, framed in dark lashes and they were just stunning. Some were more detached than others. Most of them have no chance, and that’s impossible to comprehend for me. Gwenn goes to visit at least once a week, so for at least that time, those kids can connect. She explained that she’s grateful that they cry when we leave, because it means that they are learning to form attachments to people.
When we left, we walked outside and saw the hospital directly across the street. There were lines of people under stretched out tarps, children peeking out between the railings. Crumbling concrete everywhere.
I’m off to Citae now to hand out water filtration systems. I’ll post more photos as I can.