Monday, March 17, 2008

Why This Blog Hasn't Been Live From Haiti For Over a Year

I first went to Haiti in 1990. My parish, St. Mark's, had a sister parish in Jacmel, and I went for a 10 day trip to help deliver supplies. It was a memorable trip--most first time trips to Haiti are--and I had a sense that some day i would return, though I didn't know when.

It wasn't until 2003 that I traveled back to Haiti. I was dating my future husband John, who has spent so much of his time working as a doctor in this poor country. It was the first and almost shortest of the 10 trips I have taken with him. The longest trip was the last one, clocking in at seven months from July 2006 to February 2007, when the adoption of our son was finally completed. With the exception of a five day stay in Jeremie, a coastal town in the northwest of Haiti, we have spent all of this time in the Port-au-Prince area. Life in the capital is harsher than life in the countryside. In fact, people say there are two Haitis: Port-au-Prince and everything else. Between this harshness and the dire medical situations I've seen due to John's work, the time spent in Port-au-Prince has been more shocking than my original trip.

Anyway, so why hasn't this blog been live from Haiti for more than a year?

The short answer is family. My husband's mom, Mary, who is 93, recently moved from her home to the home of her other son and his family. It takes the help of the whole family to make this work and has ruled out long term trips to Haiti. John managed to go to Haiti three times in 2007, for about a week each time. He made these trips to bring people to the United States for surgery or escort children back to Haiti after surgery.

The other family member who has something to do with my remaining stateside for over a year is our son Luke. He's had a wonderful thirteen months in the United States getting to know his extended family, attending pre-school, taking swimming and tennis lessons, and in general becoming Americanized. While we plan to travel to Haiti with Luke, it has been nice to have this time with him at home.

So when will we return? I know that we will, but I'm not sure when. It's difficult to put a timetable on family situations. However, having a little Haitian living with us helps keep the spirit of the blog alive.

Between John's extensive involvement in Haiti and our adopting Luke, my life is more intertwined with Haiti than I ever thought it would be 18 years ago. It has been one of the big blessings in my life.


Anonymous said...

Maria--I'm glad you're back to writing! I check your site and your husbands often because we are anxious to hear anything about the people we've come to care so much about. We spend several weeks a year with the Missionaries of Charity at 31 Delmas in PAP and leave more of our hearts there every time we say goodbye.

We will be returning in the middle of May and live just north of you so if there is anything you'd like brought to them, we'll be glad to take it. I'll watch this site for your response.

Congratulations on your beautiful new son!


Maria Carroll said...


I'm glad you are returning to Haiti soon and will keep your offer in mind. Thanks for being such a faithful reader!


Liza said...

Dear Maria, I have been wanting to write for such a long time and tell you how inspired I am by the work that you and your husband have been doing. I feel proud just to be a fellow human being on the planet with you. I am ready to devote my life to helping end hunger in Haiti. I don't know how yet...Please let me know if you have any advice for me to get started. My name is Liza Callahan and my email address is Thank you for all of your kindness and congratulations on your lovely new son.