"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not"
It was an epic adventure, getting to see the entire country of Haiti on foot. I was told I was crazy for signing up with WORK , a nonprofit organization who accompanies families in Haiti out of poverty through good, dignified jobs. Why run if I can just donate instead?
When first meeting all the runners at the airport, the common question that everyone asked each other was, "are you ready?", referring to the physical challenge. Did we train enough for the run? Are we ready to put our bodies through the aches and pains we would feel for the next 8 days? Maybe. But I never heard anyone answer with a definite, "yes, I am ready." For me, it was uncomfortable to answer. I don't think I actually knew what it meant to be ready. I felt capable. Capable to absorb the experience, run the country and to understand a new perspective. You can read endless articles or books and listen to others describe their experiences but none of it helps prepare you emotionally.
There is no denying the immense devastation that this country has been through and how desperately poor it is. But if you look past the unsettling, you see picturesque rugged mountains that are unbelievably breathtaking. You can also see the hope, relationships, joy and love within the Haitian people.
As I was out there with the other incredible runners, the dedicated crew and optimistic cheer squad, it registered why I wanted to run. To be surrounded by people who are selflessly wanting to give. Ready or not, we joined each other to experience this bruising journey. Which is more empowering than wanting to just donate to a cause. I couldn't of asked for a better group of people to absorb all that Haiti is.
Being able to visit the community where WORK commits it's time, energy and resources -and having met some of the family members they support - this I was able to witness the impact that WORK is doing day in and day out.