Sunday, November 27, 2011


I’ve been having interior fits tonight because there is a large spider on the ceiling in the dining room. Charlotte isn’t moving, but she is not small. The sisters assure me that she is not poisonous, but if she comes anywhere near my room… And then I was concerned that the spider in residence in the shower has moved elsewhere – where? – and wincing at the cold water. Which isn’t ice cold, mind you, any more than Charlotte is a tarantula (maybe there aren’t any of those in this neighborhood – we can always hope).

I was also remembering all the people I’ve seen today and throughout the last week who don’t have a shower. Here I am with a nice one. A clean one. With clear water. And I have access to plenty of treated drinking water, too. The people in those tent camps don’t have this. Nor do they have shelter against spiders and mosquitos and who knows what else. And I get worried?

I get annoyed to discover I’ve fallen asleep with the light on – and then I give thanks that tonight we have electricity.

One of the hardest things this past week is not the cold water or the multi-legged creatures with which I do not deal well. It’s the sense of helplessness at the sheer magnitude of the misery I am seeing. It was bad in 2009; since the earthquake it is much, much worse.  People are living in places I wouldn’t let our Boston convent dog go. I can’t take pictures of the worst of it; people would be offended. To say it’s not right is so understated that it makes me laugh. And there is so little that I can do.

I need to remember that I am not doing this alone. The Sisters are not doing it alone. The church is not doing it alone. None of us is doing anything alone. We have each other and we have God. And we can do something.

I will, with God’s help.

tent camp on the Champs de Mars in front of the ruined Palais National
Port-au-Prince, Haiti


  1. Creepy spiders aside, I am glad you are safe in a place with running water and occasional electricity. I am sorry it is much worse for so many others. Liz xoxo

  2. Dear Sarah,
    Your blog is so wonderful; it gives all of us fb friends of yours the chance to experience what you are going through. I know that sense of helplessness and can't deny that in Haiti, it seems, we can only make a tiny difference. But that tiny difference may be lifesaving for even just one person, and certainly your loving caring presence is needed there, too. You are, and have been, in my prayers.

    Wishing you peace AND a spider-free room!