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Not for Sale

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drought was, Delva,” I admonished. “It was brutal out there at Croix Rondo.”

“I’m sorry, Dr. Fournier, but I did tell you. We’re lucky here in Thomonde. At least there’s still water in the river. But it’s like Croix Rondo throughout the Plateau Central,” replied Delva. “Remember, I told you we were trucking water to the outskirts of the district. You just had to see it with your own eyes.”

I took a brief shower, being careful to conserve water and then took a nap before dinner. Rick did not bring up Angelik for discussion after dinner. Perhaps I had sufficiently addressed his questions or perhaps he felt her privacy had already been violated.

The next morning I had to leave for a meeting in Port-au-Prince. As the truck rumbled past the dispensary, I peered into the shadows of the waiting area. It was too dark in the dispensary to discern individual faces, but I could clearly make out Angelik’s mom’s orange-yellow shirt with shoulder pads and her flowered skirt. A small girl’s form in a white communion dress and white hair beads also radiated from the darkness. Well, the system worked. The health worker got her here. She’ll see the nurse-midwife, I thought to myself, as the dust raised by my truck obscured them from view.

It’s a start. Please, God, let her heal. Just the possibility of an innocent child trading sex for something as basic as water overwhelmed my consciousness. And send us rain! I thought, as we headed out of town. Then, remembering the Gonaives floods and the old admonition about being careful what you wish for, I added an addendum to my prayer—just not too much!

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