appreciate everything we had in Miami, how hard she and I had worked to get what we’ve got, how frugally she managed our budget and how modest our means were. She wasn’t really talking to me but to Suzanne. What if, corrupted by her father’s radical notions of altruism and social justice, Suzanne decided she wanted to go to Haiti herself?
Janet’s fears were not totally off base. After dinner, while I was watching the news in our den, Suzanne came in, cuddled next to me, and asked me to tell her about the trip. I told her about the hospital, the orphanages, and life in the city and in the countryside. Mostly I told her about the people, particularly the children—the orphans and Regine and the others in Cité Soleil. She listened silently. When I was done, she kissed me on the cheek and said, “When I’m a little older and I actually have something I can contribute, I’d like to go to Haiti with you.”
Janet’s attitude softened over the next few days, the thaw fueled in part by Suzanne passing on my stories to her in bits and pieces and also by the positive press we received. Channel 10 did a nice three-minute clip on our trip, and the Herald did several articles on various aspects of health care. We were famous for three days; long enough for friends and family to call, congratulate me, and gently admonish Janet not to be so hard on me. Still, after each of these conversations, she would always ask, “You’re not going back there, are you?”
Shortly thereafter, Barth, Michel, and I set up a meeting with Bernie, dean of the University of Miami School of Medicine. While we were in Haiti, we debriefed every evening, brainstorming as to how we could help. Our students and residents could come as volunteers to orphanages almost immediately. Just doing screening exams and creating medical records would be a huge benefit for those children. We could do health fairs like the ones we do in Key West, only modified for Haitian health issues. We had met many Haitian doctors—Marlon and Jerry, for example—who wanted to come to Miami for further training. Michel was particularly interested in in-