I know how to say maybe 5 things in Creole now. I asked him his name...still not talking. I got him to laugh while we played and other children snuggled in - playing with my hair, inspecting my earrings, asking if I was a doctor. Before you know it, I hear a little voice on my lap repeating the words "For you, madam. For you, madam. For you, madam." I realized it may be something he's probably heard over and over again from visitors to the orphanage. I wondered how many people come through for a day, an hour or just a moment, dropping donations and leaving. "For you, madam. For you, monsieur." And then out of their lives. Suddenly I was sad and I didn't want to go. I didn't want to be one of those people that just pass through, but I knew I was for today. I began to think of a song, whose name I can't remember, with a line that says something like - if you never say your name out loud or to anyone, they can never miss you...or remember you...or something like that. He is a 4 year old orphan in Haiti, but somehow I believe he knew he didn't want another person to know his name and then forget him. But I wanted to know his name. I didn't want to forget him. I asked him his name again and again until another child told me his name was Michele. I would not forget...Michele.
I've been listening to a song on my iPod a number of times since I've arrived in Haiti called "Show Me What I'm Looking For" by Carolina Liar. I've been asking myself - why am I here? I've been asking God, the people, the mountains, this country - to "show me what I'm looking for". I know I came here to bare witness, to learn, to be exposed, to step out of my comfort zone, to be inspired, to live, breathe and connect with each other as a human race. To connect with myself. I started thinking Michele was repeating the words, "For you, madam." literally for me. I suddenly felt Michele was there for me as much as I was there for him. I was looking for connection and that's exactly what we did.
Over the past 8 days, I've seen a lot of this country...trying to interact with the people the best I can. Sometimes feeling scared and unwanted. Sometimes feeling warm and welcomed. Today I connected to Michele in a way I will never forget. I held this boy, who's touch is probably so limited, and before I left I put my hand over his heart. It was beating fast. So was mine. I did not want to put him down. I connected and hopefully not for the last time. I will never forget Michele.