This Tuesday I got an unexpected email from Joe, one of my students.
Here’s what he had to say:
As I told you last Saturday, my wife and I have been involved in Haiti for a long time. Now, because of the earthquake, (the worst in Haiti in 200 years) Medical Teams International has asked us to go in-country on a disaster response team. It looks like we are going in on this Thursday; if so, I’ll have to take a rain-check.
This sweet, soft-spoken student had off-handedly mentioned helping out in Haiti during our last class.
Sometimes I get into the lives and times of my students. More often I know what rides they like best, or if they have a dog they had to take out before class and that’s about the extent of it. I don’t assume too much and enjoy getting to know each of my students mostly through their experiences with their bikes. In this case I had assumed he visited Haiti occasionally to do some kind of volunteer work with orphan children. Something nice. Something kind but not too dangerous.
After reading an article on the relief movement in the Oregonian, I realized that he was one of six doctors and nurses that Medical Teams International was sending.
One of six.
His wife makes it two of six.
To a disaster area crumbled to the ground, mostly impassable, without food or water. Into a situation where the streets are filled with bodies.
Dead. Alive. Soon to be dead.
Thirsty with days of no water. Hungry beyond hunger.
The sheer numbers of victims and lack of basic survival—water, food, shelter—he and his wife are facing is beyond imagination, not to mention the risk in the midst of such instability.
Two lives to help hundreds of thousands.
I was overwhelmed with the thought of this gentleman, somewhere in his 50’s, heading out to face improbable odds. The dissonance that this was my student. In class, Joe is self-apologetic and a bit fumbling. A guy who rides recreationally and just wanted to be a bit more “self sufficient”.
I am humbled and awed.
So I ask that if you have not donated to a relief fund, or want to but are unsure of which to donate to, please consider Medical Teams International.
Help Joe and his wife help the people of Haiti.
They are only two, but we are many.
<a title="Medical Teams International: Haiti Relief" href="http://www.medicalteams.org/sf/home/Haiti_Earthquake viagra ligne france.aspx”>Click here to DONATE to Medical Teams International and read more about their efforts.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was published in the Oregonian today. Dr. Joe is actually 70 years old, the same age as my parents.