Dumbledore Has Landed! 5th flight that we funded for Haiti reaches destination!
Tears are welling up in my eyes right now. I just got an email from Partners In Health letting me know that “Dumbledore,” our fifth and final plane for Helping Haiti Heal, has landed!
We will be celebrating this occasion this Sunday at 2 p.m. EST during a big Livestream!
As a community, we have sent approximately 80,000 pounds of critical medical supplies to Haiti!
Besides the fact that our work profoundly touched and may have saved the lives of thousands of people, we named all five planes with very clear intentions: “Harry,” “Hermione,” “Ron,” “DFTBA,” and “Dumbledore.”
With our first plane, we sent our wishes for the spirit of what Harry represents for us to travel to Haiti: for them to be a nation that trusts its instincts, that acts on its feet against all odds with bravery and chivalry, and that–in spite of and because of loss–maintains and expands its capacity for love.
With the second plane, “Hermione Granger,” we sent the Haitian people our wish that they be filled with intellectual brilliance, curiosity, and a passion for equality as they figure out how to emerge from such trying circumstances as a country free from fear and free from want.
With the third plane, “Ron Weasley,” we sent a wish that the Haitian people preserve their sense of humor even in the midst of hard times, and that they continue to find a figurative Deluminator within their country that always allows them to find their way back to themselves.
In the fourth plane, we departed from the names of HP characters with “Flight DFTBA” (Don’t Forge To Be Awesome). This name represented the fact that like Harry himself, we HP fans who love the series’ message of the imperative nature of friendship could not have done this alone. The success of Helping Haiti Heal happened because the Harry Potter fandom worked with 20 other fandoms, most notably the Nerdfighters. The power of the Nerdfighter community of John, Hank, and tens of thousands of Nerdfighters across the world, with their simple mantra of “Don’t Forget To Be Awesome,” made it possible for us to send a plane with the reminder that Haiti is awesome. Throughout its history and throughout this current crisis, the Haitian people have demonstrated an awe-inspiring will to live as they continue to celebrate life and love in the midst of some of the greatest “World Suck” (to borrow a phrase from the Nerdfighters) that has ever sucked. Despite sorrow and devastation, they continue to show that they are made of awesome, and we send them our love and our respect as they rebuild their precious nation.
And it is the final plane that is perhaps the most meaningful for “Harry had eyes only for the man who stood in the largest portrait directly behind the headmaster’s chair. Tears were sliding down from behind the half-moon spectacles into the long silver beard, and the pride and the gratitude emanating from him filled Harry with the same balm as phoenix song” (Deathly Hallows 747).
May the love that we send to the Haitian people through our hearts and through this final plane emanate the same balm as phoenix song.
And like the spirit of the Phoenix, from the ashes of rubble in Port-au-Prince and throughout much of the island, from the tears may there emerge new life. The people of Haiti will rise again! As they once rose against slavery, so they will rise against the shackles of poverty created and enforced by Western nations and the ruthlessness of this devastating earthquake.
Fourteen-year-old Jason Compere, a Haitian-American and avid Harry Potter fan and new HPA member whose father works for Partners In Health, asked us not to forget Haiti. We in this community will heed Jason’s call.
Dumbledore has landed today, the last of the five planes that we sent with Helping Haiti Heal. With him we send our wishes for Harry’s instincts, Hermione’s mind, Ron’s laughter, the awesomeness of community, and an overall strategy whose inherent assumptions rest in the fact that that love will win the day, and that despite the indescribable losses that Haiti has suffered this year, they will be reborn in a resurrection whose light will shine the world over.
May the small part we have played in the larger story of Haiti shape us, and shape the larger story of our lives and the larger story of the human journey in which each of us is a part.