With the news of the recent devastation in Haiti I keep thinking of a book I read several years ago, Mountains Beyond Mountains, by Tracy Kidder. It's on my list of all time favorites.
The book is about a doctor, Paul Farmer; you've likely heard of him. It focuses on his work in Haiti and his building of a hospital there. And it's a bigger story than building a hospital. Paul Farmer relies on the community, trains doctors and nurses. He's a diplomat, a fund raiser. He does house calls; I think he even gets married during the course of the book although how he had time I can't remember. The man doesn't stop.
The details of the story have faded but I've not forgotten the work Paul Farmer initiated in Haiti, the way he empowers the people he comes in contact with, the young doctors and nurses who are carrying on his work while he introduces it around the world. I've not lost the feeling of awe.
Paul Farmer's organization started in Haiti, but now worldwide, is Partners in Health. Their hospital outside of the capital of Haiti was not damaged in the earthquake and they've been providing medical care as far and fast as they can since. They are the first place I turned when I heard the news as I knew they would be immediately on the front lines of relief. And like so many organizations they are in need of help to continue providing care.
With the bad news coming out of Haiti, Mountains Beyond Mountains, is a story of good news happening in the country. So many years after reading it I still feel like the people of Haiti are my next door neighbors; as if they are part of my community. It's a story that replaces borders with compassion and the power of one person to inspire others by example.
If you haven't read this now may be a good time to pick up a copy. It's a very good read and as relevant as ever as Haiti looks to rebuild and the world looks to help.
20 hours ago