Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ode to Monica

So the other volunteer who came to Haiti with me left this morning. It was a sad and silent car ride. There wasn’t a whole lot to say after, “I know it’s for the best but I’m still going to miss you.”

Pic I took for Monica where we used to pray.

I met Monica at VIDES Orientation. I knew then we’d be great friends. First cuz she’s a giant goof ball. Second, cuz she can be bossy when it comes to health (I got dehydrated at orientation and she force-fed me water instead of letting me help clean up!) Third, she’s a solid source of spiritual advice outside of my family.

Before I arrived, I was debating whether or not I wanted to come to Haiti. I think I’ve mentioned this before. One of the many reasons I actually got on that airplane was Monica. I knew she’d need me to be there for her and I also knew I needed another volunteer to help me get acclimated.

In Haiti we became great friends. I’ve learned to look to her for a lot of my growth when it comes to God. Now I’m going to do something new, it isn’t my style to preach but I’m going to let you all know a little more about my faith...

I’ve never been a very “Catholic” person, as many of you know. Most of you don’t know that I’ve always had faith that there is a God but I’ve never defined much more than that. You don’t know because I don’t usually tell people. It’s very personal to me.

Monica cutting her birthday cake.
Well Monica helped expose me to what it actually means to be Catholic. Monica got me to start praying the Rosary, going to Daily Mass, appreciating the act of fasting, praying more and reading the Bible. Yet the Rosary was the cornerstone of our friendship.

For the first time in my life, praying the Rosary wasn’t a huge pain in the butt. It was actually kind of fun. We would use it as a way to hang out and warm up for some deep philosophical and theological discussions. These discussions allowed us to get to know ourselves and each other much better.

But the thing we did the MOST was talk about our significant others. I’d tell her about Shannon and she would tell me about Jared. We were together in Port-au-Prince for about 2 weeks before I went to Cap Haitian and about 3-4 weeks after I returned.

This morning she went back to the US because she’s been sick for 12 days.

Dear Monica,

I’m sad to see you go.
You’re friendship has meant so much to me.
Yet it’s time for you to know.
While sick, you can’t fight the Haitian Sea.
We will all miss you.
This is a poem of reminiscence.
Had you not been here.
I wouldn’t have talked about my poo
Would’ve missed your presence.
Had you not been near.

I’ll miss the times when we would talk
About all the things we found out of place
Mustering up the courage to go for a walk
Observing things that jump out at your face:
Like little boys peeing in the street;
Tents that fit a family of ten;
Wild dogs that want to bite.
Even when I felt like I was beat
You reminded me of the sorrows of other men
Whose burdens aren’t nearly as light.

So today I say goodbye.
Adios is always difficult,
With just one tear in my eye.
We both become a little more adult.
I promise to continue to fight:
Staying here I’ll to continue to see,
That which an earthquake does sow
Pray for me that I might
Have strength enough to be
The man God wants others to know.

Oreviour Monica

Biffy, Me, And Monica. Hang in there Monica!

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