My brother Nat talking with the UN soldiers from Sri Lanka after helping us clear out the manifestation.
This past month has been pretty insane to say the least…
We started off the first week of June with a manifestation at our work site. This was my first experience with a Haitian manifestation. Haha say that really fast 3 times… This one was extremely mild compared to how things regularly go.. usually things get burnt, cops get shot, and people get kidnapped.
This one wasn’t that bad!
so IHQ told us to hire more employees so we can get this project done faster. We had a meeting on Friday and decided we had to hire 40 people for Monday. I guess the word spread quickly that we were hiring cause when we showed up to work on Monday there was WAY more then 40 new employees waiting for us at the gate.
It was hectic! I knew I just had to keep calm and collected to keep a clear head.
At 7am there were about 80 people pushing up against our gate yelling. Andrea (our HR program manager) and I were on the other side of the gate calling out the names we had on our list. We confirmed everyone with a picture ID before allowing them onto our site.
I figured once the people saw that we were only accepting those who were on our list they would go home.. but that’s not quite how things work here.
So we started the day like any normal day. Devotions, announcement, security talk. During devotions I noticed the crowd on the street grow larger and larger. It wasn’t long before they blocked all of our exits and began throwing concrete chunks the size of grapefruit at our workers. We had workers on the roof of our building doing everything to take cover.
There is this super cute old old man named Sejourne who was on the roof right next to the street and he just looked terrified. I wanted to run up there to rescue him but my brother wouldn’t let me out of our container.
It was scary but I didnt get that scared until Mark our CAD drawer said he got shot 3 different times all while he was in Haiti… then I thought dang, things could get real real fast.
They threw rocks at our vehicles and broke two windshields. Thank the Lord there were no actual injuries though.
Our head of security showed up with extra guards and brought with him the local Haitian police as well the Sri Lanken soldiers from the local UN base. Once they came things settled down, people cleared out and we were able to eventually take down the road blocks around all our exits.
We had two manifestations this month.. My boss hired 10 people as a result of the manifestation.. so they were like “oh yay sweet. it worked.. so lets do it again!” and thats exactly what happened.
A couple weeks ago my life was threatened while I was at work. A man said if I crossed him again he would kill me. That’s about all I can say about that right now.
God is teaching me so so much and that’s really everything I’m holding on to. He has been blessing me with incredible support by my co-workers as well as friends and family back home.
Im learning a lot about myself. My strengths and weaknesses.. Last semester one of my profs had us do some deep soul searching and come up with our core-values and I feel like through that assignment I learned so much about myself… well this experience has put all of that to real life test.
Now i’m working through where the line is drawn when my morals and ethics are being rocked. When do I walk away from something? What action really quantifies standing up for justice? Is walking away from the injustice enough? Is being a voice for the voiceless and oppressed enough? Or are we suppose to do EVERYTHING possible? Go out with a fight? Even if it means going against your bosses and the decision of an organization?
Anyways.. this is just like the tip of the iceberg of what’s been going on here and what I’ve been doing and learning… processing everything on a daily basis.