Haley Sortzi via Crowdrise
December 22, 2012
My first time in Haiti was with Helping Haitian Angels, a nonprofit with an orphanage that ultimately changed my life forever. Kay Anj is an orphanage that holds roughly 45 children from the Cap-Haitien area. I instantly fell in love with the children in Kay Anj. One boy I got really close with goes by the name of Victor. Everyday he drew me pictures and wrote me letters describing how he wanted to come back to America with me. Victor a boy that I consider my brother and I wish I could bring him back with me. Words cannot describe the love I have for that boy. The best way to describe my love for Haiti and for Victor is in an essay I wrote for school. Please take a moment and read it.
I believe in love at first sight. When most people think about “Love” they imagine their spouse or crush. But when I imagine “Love” I picture Haiti; a third world country just south of Florida and next-door neighbors with the Dominican Republic. My first time to this country was in June of 2011, unwillingly dragged there by my big-hearted mother. The moment the plane touched down in Cap-Haitian I knew that leaving would be as hard as going.
There’s a huge stereotype about third world countries that has been imprinted in our minds, as well as falling in love; they’re both dangerous. And it’s true. Tell me, if you believed you found your soul mate, would you walk away from them? I’m not saying Haiti is my soul mate, but I definitely have a strong love and connection for it and it’s people.
Haiti is the same size as the state of Maryland and has over 2 million people inhabiting the land. I traveled to Cap-Haitian, which holds about 1/3 of the population. Needless to say finding love in Haiti is very hard and extremely rare. I went to an orphanage, Kay Anj, and mentored 43 children. Every volunteer that goes to the orphanage develops a special relationship with a child. Mine happened to be with a 14-year-old boy, Victor: the sweetest boy you would ever meet. Every day he drew pictures of me taking him back America with me. He would call me his sister and be at my side all the time. Food is extremely scarce in Haiti, and the fact that he would try to share his lunch with me, melts my heart to this day. Victor honestly showed me what true love is. However, it is not the kind of love you and I are familiar with: it is a love that no spouse or crush could ever create, and describing it is nearly impossible. The country of Haiti is filled with many evil, conniving and manipulative people, and to find a child who hadn’t been touched by the Devil’s hand was so refreshing. To this day I still have Victor’s drawings and letters. Since first meeting Victor, I’ve been back to Kay Anj three times, and each time I come home with more letters and drawings from the boy who showed me true love. I have a maternal love and instinct to Victor, and receive calls weekly from him, but at $2.00 a minute the conversations are very brief. Hearing his voice speak to me in the little Creole I know makes me smile and gives me a reason to believe in love.
I believe in love at first sight. Not the mushy, storybook love but the deep intense, found your passion love. Not only were these children beautiful externally, they were beautiful internally as well. From the moment I opened the door to the orphanage I fell in love. From that moment on, I knew going back there was the right thing to do.
True love is finding someone who you look forward to being with, someone who you would do anything for. It is this, I believe.