300 Words: ‘Na wè pita’

Sweat streams down her face. The humidity so extreme that the only outfit she owns is glued to her body. She cringes as she steps with bare feet on a sharp rock. She stands in front of a stick hut that looks as if it would collapse at the slightest breeze. Her son grasps her hand; holding on for dear life. She smiles ever so slightly, her lip quivering when she shows her slightly yellow and brown rotten teeth.

Pale, white, and very out of place are the American mission team that nears the place she calls home. One of them approaches the little boy, gently grasping his open hand. He is so thin that his ribs protrude out of his sides. Another, NCHS Junior Regan Smith, slowly walks toward the woman and her son.

Chloe Burcham
Regan Smith holds a child as a Haitian family is being prayed for.

She lays her hands on the mother’s shoulders, beginning a prayer by saying, “Dear God…” The translator echos her words: “Renmen Bondye…” She prays passionately, her voice rising and falling like the slight breeze that rustles the palm trees.

After Regan closes her prayer, she steps back and hands the mother and her son rice and beans. But she knows that this will only be a temporary fix.

Although the pain she sees is unbearable, she trusts that it will not last. She trusts that the God who created everything will ease it. She trusts. She hopes. She prays. She ponders why she came to Haiti: to help others. She never thought that a family with nothing more than the clothes on their backs and crumbling home would change her life.

“Au revoir,” Regan says as she turns to leave, but she has no intention of saying goodbye.

She only wants to say “na wè pita”, “see you later.” She knows that this is not goodbye. She will be back.