note from Cosima regarding her recent trip and images:

There is no doubt that Haiti is a place where devastation is a part of life under normal circumstances, let alone now... and yet even with the catastrophic events of January 12th, many of us remain hopeful... I believe that it does make a difference to help and that connecting to the people of Haiti and their immediate needs can change your life.

My name is Cosima Lux. I am just one of the many people who has been trying to make a little difference in Haiti for some time now. But who knew that someday, perhaps with your help, I'd be bringing chickens to an orphanage, water to a hospital, soccer cleats to displaced children, and smiles all around?

Haiti is a beautiful place on many levels. So although I primarily went to Haiti this time as a medical provider and educator, my camera was never far away. I have attempted to continue on with One Week's Wisdom Projects' vision - to bring compassion to the people of Haiti... as well as to assess how we could best use funding to make a difference in and around the programs we work with, while taking images that portray, not only how happiness is still able to survive, but also to grow.

It is hard for us to imagine trying to give and teach compassionate care in a place where everyone has just about given up - in a place where the hospital actually purchases water rather than needed supplies; when there is a beautiful river a mere pipeline away. Ironically, this is occurring in a place where laundering is almost an art form and some of the world's poorest are also the cleanest. Then people must bathe outside the hospital in public, there are no facilities, and women have nothing to birth on other than a plastic sheet that has been wiped off by only a dirty chlorox rag, unless one of us gives her our own used surgical gown. The hospital staff does what it can, but they have lost much compassion, against their own need to survive in these conditions. I am not going to try and save the world... we are not even trying to change Haiti. But I will do my best to use my abilities to bring water to Hinche's hospital. A bucket a day per ward - a few minutes of purchased trickle - is simply not enough to be considered humane. If babies must die - then mothers should be able to wash their tears and faces...

Then the amazing connectedness comes in. This where I start to smile again. When I realize that I was supposed to land in Haiti and use that ridiculous amount of unearned confidence to march into the minister of health's and hospital director's offices and tell them that perhaps their vision is clouded and that I will find help, somehow... and then, with a fat grin, I'll admit, I walk safely back from the hospital and bump into a man who happens to need breast feeding advice for his wife and newborn. Or I follow a man and his granddaughter down several streets because I can't take my eyes off the love between them. After which I tumble straight into a woman at the orphanage who happens to know of a group setting up water systems a few hours away. This is Haiti. This is what happens here.

There is no way, then, to stop smiling for long. So that, after an 18hr shift, alongside a midwife giving her time for at least six inspirational months... I return ready to fall asleep standing - but not only do the crazy roosters have other plans in store for me... I am greeted by Alex who is smiling, although lost his brother in Port au Prince, perhaps because he has come to the orphanage with the primary goal of taking me on in a mean round of paint can lid frisbee... I am eventually dragged away by the girls waiting for hugs, giggles, and painted toes well in to the evening, when the big kids are studying under street lamps with a work ethic that echoes their desire to succeed. The orphanage is the product of a success story itself. While I am drafting a chicken coop and searching for egg layers and funding, I know that Maison Fortuné's Jean Louis is taking in more and more displaced youth from PAP and offering them not only an education and a true home, but a place in his heart.

The spirit of these people is amazing. It is uplifting and it is magic. It is what I want you to see through my photographs. Because along with the images of destruction we have all witnessed, there is more to be shown. And no, there are not enough tents, the rubble is astounding, the further collapse of structures is immanent, and the loss life is almost palpable. So how did my own heart not break? It is because of all these little coincidences and incredible connections and moments I have tried to capture either with my camera or in my heart to share with each of you. So that you, too, can connect to these amazing people and perhaps be the link that makes the difference.

What I want you to understand is the joy, for example, that the children (of the 2000 plus people displaced to l'Athlétique d'Haiti's athletic fields) felt, when Tony Sanneh came to play soccer. That while carrying out exactly One Weeks Wisdom's plan on his own - he changed the lives of many children by allowing them to dream once more.

There is no need to think that it is only millions that can bring smiles back to the people of Haiti... your used cleats or your lunch money can make a difference. My photographs are here to bring the colors of Haiti into your hearts. I hope, that from now on, you will see the devastation as an opportunity for change. Not just for Haiti, but in your own lives, as a place to begin.

Compassion is contagious... and, trust me, it is the best disease you'll ever catch.

Mési anpil, Cosima