Meet Gail Grady, the energetic interim Director for Mercy Beyond Borders in Haiti. She's a full-time volunteer, exuding compassion and warmth. Her favorite thing is hiking up into the mountains -- and I do mean hiking: those ravines are steep and rocky. She visits the homes of our Scholars. She greets their relatives like long-lost family. She shares their sorrows and their laughter. She's remarkably at home with them.
By spending time with the families of our scholarship recipients, MBB learns a lot. We meet their extended families.We see generations living under one roof. We see how much they care for one another. We see the hard work by which they coax fruits and vegetables from barren soil. We see how they share with their neighbors. We see the richness of the culture and the resilience of the people who stand up again after every natural disaster that knocks them down. We see the sacrifices they make to send their children to school "in town."
We also see the fascinating mix of voodoo and Christianity. The music. The dancing. The value placed on rituals and prayer. The faith that undergirds their daily struggles.
Most of our staff in Haiti are themselves Haitian. For us who are not, home visits are a wonderful way to connect. Time spent in the mountains allows the Haitians to educate us.