I go back to my room three, maybe four times to make sure I am not forgetting anything. Knowing it is impossible to bring the right thing or enough of anything or to predict what I might need. I go back several times until at last, I nod to Davide, the moto driver, and climb on the seat behind him.
The large metal gates are opened and life in the yard, at the Midwives House, is left behind. We are out on the dusty road that runs through the largest town of Haiti’s Central Plateau. Davide is a skilled driver; weaving around potholes, donkeys on their way to market and children walking to school.
At the hospital, we are greeted by street vendors, more moto drivers, guards, patients and patient families. Davide weaves through the crowds, past the guards and onto the hospital grounds. I climb off and wave good-bye. I face the corridor that will lead me to labor and delivery. They say it was once a French fort and that the rooms were once stables for horses. I consider this as I make my way into the hospital.
Someone will call Davide and tell him when to come and get me. He does this day after day; the drive between Ste Therese and the Midwives For Haiti House. We come from all over the United Sates and Canada. It is both our home and a place we visit. He carries us to market and church. Our feet our dusty. His strong back is warm and sweaty and we too drip with sweat and a surprise rain shower.
We return, drenched in the water and lean into his safety; the memories of the labor and delivery room, both raw and tender in our hearts. We can shower, eat and lie on our beds. We look up to the heavens and wonder about the value of life and why we were born in another place and not here.
-Words by Sarah Taylor, Midwife Volunteer and longtime friend of Midwives For Haiti