• Sarah Joy

A Case of the What Ifs...

I was talking with a girlfriend a few days ago about my upcoming trip to Haiti. We talked about some of my fears, which she of course tried to help me put in perspective. Thank you, Anne!

She also suggested I write down all of my “what if” scenarios so that I can return to them after my trip. A way to prove to myself that the worrying is wasted and that I am always provided for. I love this idea. And I love it even more because I can share the before and after through my blog.

A little back story…

My dad and stepmom have spent the better part of the past 2 decades serving the people of Haiti. They have an apartment in Haiti and spend about half of their time in Haiti. The rest of the time they are in the U.S. raising funds and raising awareness. They do amazing work with very little resources. They emphasize education. Their nonprofit, the Haiti Project ( sponsors children who otherwise couldn’t go to school. It teaches farmers about sustainable agriculture. It provides medical resources. It fosters community leadership. I am so proud of the work they do and the lives they’ve touched!

About a month ago my stepmom had a health scare. Thankfully she is on the road to recovery and is doing exceptionally well, but she had to cancel her normal trip to Haiti. That means my dad made the journey on his own this time. And that means there is a spare bed in their small apartment. It also just so happens that I haven’t yet found a full-time job. And my divorce is finalized. I have time and flexibility.

And finally, over the past couple of years, the Haiti Project has focused on buying food for school lunches from local farmers rather than trucking food across the country. There’s a whole host of reasons for this shift which you can read more about in the latest newsletter Now that food is sourced locally, it’s time to optimize the nutritional value of the meals. That’s (hopefully) where I come in.

All of this to say: the stars aligned. The timing is right. I’m being called. I’m saying yes.

I’m super excited. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude that I have this opportunity.

I love travel. I love having my eyes opened. I love knowing my dad and I will make meaningful memories.

And yet, I am also overwhelmed with the what ifs. So I’ll share them with you. I’ll get them out of my head and onto the screen. And I fully believe that I’ll return to the U.S. and read my list and smile. And I will grow just a little bit more in my faith by seeing that all is well.

So here goes:

  1. What if I miss one of my flights tomorrow?

  2. What if I forget to pack something vital, like my passport?

  3. What if I get bombarded in the Port au Prince airport and I get overwhelmed and just start crying?

  4. What if Dad can’t get to the airport and I don’t have a ride?

  5. What if my cell phone doesn’t work and I can’t call anyone for help?

  6. What if my luggage gets lost?

  7. What if I can’t find anything to eat as a vegetarian?

  8. What if I get malaria, typhoid, infantigo, etc?

  9. What if my dad and I get on each other’s nerves?

  10. What if I don’t know enough about nutrition and I can’t provide any support to the school lunch program?

  11. What if I’m assaulted in the streets?

  12. What if I can’t sleep because it’s too hot or the sounds of voodoo worship late into the night keep me awake?

  13. What if I gain 10 pounds because I can’t keep up my normal exercise routine while I’m there?

  14. What if we run out of clean water?

  15. What if I can’t get a signal and can’t stay connected with home?

  16. What if I fall in love with a little Haitian baby and leaving breaks my heart?

  17. What if I don’t and that leaves me feeling like I’m cold-hearted?

  18. What if I can’t get out of the country before the planned protests?

  19. What if there’s an earthquake or hurricane?

  20. And, finally, what if I can’t help in any meaningful way and my expensive flight/travel was just a waste of money?

Eek! I think a list of 20 is enough. I’m a little nervous about putting this out there for all the world to see. But it’s me being real. And hopefully my being real helps you be real.

If you want to reach out tomorrow or anytime through the 15th, when I return to the States, I know it will matter! Do so on Facebook. Or text me at 615.243.0981. Or email me at And thank you!


#ProjectRestoreJoy #WhatIf #TheHaitiProject #YourPartnerInHaiti #Healing #Vulnerability #Travel

#ProjectRestoreJoy #Travel #Healing #Vulnerability #fear

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