I came, I saw, and I have no idea how one can think of conquering and rebuilding Haiti. Where do we start? Thank you for the NGOs that have inundated the country with their specific strategies for rebuilding. Thank you international community for thinking of schemes that will only foster a culture of dependence. How do you try to change a culture of corruption amidst the largest outpouring of compassion around the world? How do you get local leaders to engage and commit their energies to their country? At times working side by side, is simply semantics. We need someone to take the lead in this dance of rebuilding; if not local leaders and not the international community then we simply listen to the song of destruction and do nothing.

Port au Prince, was my training ground for the Chicago marathon. I learned the city and all its back roads. I knew all the little marchands, where people had partied just a little too much, and where I could always find my personal cheering section. I wonder where all those people are? How many of them are still alive? I wonder how many are in tent cities? I wonder what has happened to the smiles that illuminated my run routes; will I find them next to the rubble.

In Jacmel, I often think about Haitian society and its’ intricacies. The contradictions have manifested themselves ever so clearly and not surprisingly people do not energy to manage the old “issues” of Haiti. Poverty and natural disaster might be the breaking point for some, but for the people of Haiti that were already poor, their loss is not one that will be able to be rebuilt. Where do they go and what happens to them?

As more people congregate on the streets in their Coleman (if they were lucky) or makeshift tents, fear slowly engulfs their neighborhoods. The humidity and mosquitos are manageable compared to the loss of hope and fear of being caught in rubble. Even I, have my emergency bag prepared (I hope) to run out of my hotel room, in case “it” happens. When does the fear dissolve and turn into productive and forceful movements of hope? I am an optimist, so I smile and do what I can because I want to believe there is more for the country that I love. I have to believe. I have arrived home and I have to hope that HAITIAN people are going to pull together to get through this together.


~ by travelling womanists on February 9, 2010.

One Response to “Arrivals”

  1. I remember being in Haiti quite sometime ago. I was so srry to hear and see the damage the earthquake left. I have often wondered about the various people who have traveled to Haiti and what they have thought. I loved the people, the food, the music and the history. Haiti will always be a love of my life. I have traveled in the Caribbean for the past forty years and still Haiti is one of my favorite islands. I remember being told how careful I had to be and don’t trust anybody. I needed to go to the bank and didn’t know where it was. I asked a young man on the street and instead of telling me, he simply motioned for me to come! I followed beside him and he led me straight to the bank. When we got there, he said to me in French, “Dacor”, meaning, “Okay”. I said the same to him and he was gone. When I think of traveling for women, it is such a necessity! What one can learn is amazing and one could never received such education in school unless they traveled while in school. Haiti will survive. It is what they know and are use to! Haiti’s history is rich with survival. They will survive!

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