Tucked away and hidden back down a narrow alley somewhere near the center of the village of Anse-a-Galets is the "Kay Po." The Poor House as it is known to the locals. In the poorest Western Hemisphere country, in one of the poorest sections of that country is this little "kay po," the poor house. Where the poorest of the poorest of the poorest live, er... exist. About 20 of them, young children to old adults cohabiting this tiny, dingy, filthy place. Many are crippled. A few of them are blind. One guy is missing a leg. One little child runs around naked. It is heartbreaking even to the most seasoned of Haiti travelers. The "house" is really two small little buildings with a total of 5 rooms... dark and dirty. The people live in a state of hunger and thirst.
I brought a team down last October/November and introduced them to the people of Kay Po and they did many things during the two weeks there (washed the black walls and painted them light yellow, poured nice smooth cement floors to replace the dirt ones, distributed clothes, supplied them with food, played with the kids, and basically just loved on them. There are many stories and memories of those two weeks, vignettes of the love of Jesus being experienced all over the place.
Dawn, a nurse who works in my office, gave manicures and pedicures to several of the elderly people. Their nails were so long and curled and thick and filthy (it's not like they had water to wash with). She especially "took" to an old woman called Lizena. She moved slowly and hunched over a bit. She could see some, but you could tell she had catarracts and couldn't see all that well. Dawn spent a lot of time with Lizena, talking sweet to her. She soaked and scrubbed and washed Lizena's hands and feet, then applied a beautiful polish to them.
By late in our time there, most of the others in the kay po had received clothes that we had brought down, but for some reason, Lizena hadn't gotten anything yet and Dawn had intended to find her something before we left for home. Problem was... Hurricane Tomas decided to pay a visit and we had to high-tail it home a day early (a harrowing story I'll share another time), and Lizena got nothing.
This has bothered Dawn ever since. So when she found out I was going down a few weeks ago, Dawn found a nice blue dress she thought Lizena would like and asked if I'd mind going down to the kay po and find Lizena and give her the dress.
The pictures tell the story. Click on them to get a better look. See how beautiful Lizena is.
There are not many people on this earth that know about kay po. But I do, and Dawn does, and a few others. When I stopped by a couple weeks ago they had no food. Except for a half wheelbarrow of half-rotted mangoes they had no food, because I checked. So I did what I felt Jesus might do in that situation. I bought them some rice and beans and oil and charcoal to cook it with. Totaled about a hundred bucks and I calculated it would last them two weeks. Good news: that was a pretty good way to spend a hundred dollars. Bad news: that was about two weeks ago.
Kay Po would be such a great starfish.