Monday, 31 May 2010
Miss Bernadette and I went up to the toddler house today, to vaccinate the older GLA children. Twenty five of our kids were inoculated against preventable, and potentially fatal diseases. Due to the high cost of the vaccines, few orphanages in Haiti run vaccination programmes. At God's Littlest Angels, though, we are able to meet the costs of these vaccines, and we are glad; currently, there are epidemics of measles and Diphtheria in Haiti and there have been reports of deaths among unvaccinated children who have contracted Diphtheria in Port-au-Prince.
Of course, it is unlikely that the twenty five children we vaccinated today could have been convinced that the needle sticks they endured were actually a blessing! That being said, they did very well. It really is asking a lot to expect anyone to endure pain when they can't understand the reason or the purpose of it.
The little boy below, had an especially rough day. He received two vaccines today. Then, after a nasty fall in the yard, he split his head open and had to come to the main house for sutures. It was all a little bit too much!
We did our best to make up for the trauma of the day the only way we could - with sweet treats, hugs, and lots of re-assurances that to Laurore that he really was a brave boy.
Later, Laurore was on the NICU balcony enjoying some particularly tasty German bon bon (biscuits). On the balcony, he met our newest arrival, a malnourished infant named Djovensky. This baby is sick, malnourished and quite fretful. Laurore was exceptionally still and almost expressionless as he watched the whimpering, squirming infant. I explained that Djovensky wasn't feeling well, and we we going to try to make him better.
Entirely without prompting, Laurore extended his hand, and held one of his bon bon's out to the crying infant. To my surprise, Djovensky became quiet and grasped the biscuit in his hand. Apparently, Laurore understood that the baby's misery, he wanted to ease it, and he did, even though it meant giving up a piece of his own consolation.
I hate seeing these kids hurt, and yet, I suppose that without suffering, there would be no basis for empathy, and neither reason or motivation to reach out in compassion to another. Wouldn't that be a loss to the spectrum of emotions that colour our lives and our souls?
Posted by Susan Westwood at 18:46