$40 IS THE DIFFERENCE FOR ONE YOUNG MAN IN SAVANETTE, HAITI: Prior to going to Haiti last year we had a meeting with Dr. and Mrs. Nielsen to go over the rules of conduct whilst in Haiti. Namely that under no circumstance were we to give money to a Haitian or, exchange contact information, etc. Americans on previous trips have done great damage by giving money and expensive gifts to residents in the community. If you give money to someone here others invariably found out and then they all want some $$$.
20-year-old Maxen Romain became my best friend last year. Just minutes into our conversation he explained that he was not able to pay the tuition fees to continue his studies and asked me to give him $40 so that he could re-enroll. I explained to him our instructions, nevertheless every day he repeated his request.
Minutes into that first meeting an impression came upon me that God had occasioned Maxen and me to meet. Over the course of the five full days in Savanette, Maxen was my personal interpreter(as he was one of a handful of Savanette residents who spoke a little English).
On the last day, I told Maxen that upon returning to the U.S. I would give the Nielsen's the $40 and they would pass it to him, which is what happened. With that little $40, Maxen was able to finish his high school and his progress impressed the Nielsen's that they are now paying for his college. Furthermore, he is now working as a translator for the Nielsen's.
Dr. Nielsen gave Maxen a male rabbit and a female rabbit and two cages. Maxen in three months has turned those two rabbits into twenty. So far he has used some of the rabbits as meat for his family and will sell the next batch so that he can pay for a computer course he will take this summer. So in conclusion, $40 is not that much to an American, but for a young, poor man in Haiti with dreams to futher his education, that $40 cannot be measured.
Read more: Hubert in Haiti blogs