10 April 2010

In Love

Having just returned from Haiti, I can say I am in love.

I am loving the people of Haiti. While most are just surviving and not truly living, they have an incredible spirit of resilience.

I sat on the plane next to a man who had lost his 24 year old daughter in the quake. This trip was the first time he had been able to return to his country since then.

You could not go far without seeing the destruction. While one building was standing, the one next to it had collapsed on itself. The 8x8 corner store stood firm; the presidential palace, in ruins. But the survivors keep going.

The yellow-shirted men removing rubble. Wheelbarrows, buckets, on their heads, in their hands - any way possible. Where are they putting it all? As the truck goes by so quickly, it seems that they move it from one place to another. The absent storekeeper clearly has no say in the amount of concrete laid at the door of his now shattered building. And the survivors keep going.

Now in tents instead of homes - some out of necessity; some out of fear. The portajohns placed by varied relief organizations. What happens when the rains come? The survivors keep going.

10:30 Thursday night - deluge. Tropical winds and sideways rain results in several yelling of commands, all in creole, all in the darkness of a capital city. "Tie that down." "Put that here." "Grab the chicken." "Come inside." "Help me hold my tent down." - I imagine. As suddenly as it started, it stops. Yup. The Haitians keep going.

Whatever they can do - they do. I don't see many Americans being able to survive in the same position as this island nation. That's not a cut to Americans, but a truth. We would never make it. We are too comfortable in our 'lexus cages' and our climate controlled homes. If you've never been there, it would be impossible for it even to enter your imagination. There is no comparable place or situation in American life - anywhere. But the Haitians keep moving forward.

Ayisyen yo te kenbe deplase devan.

Chè Ayiti, mwen vle ou konnen ki jan mwen fyè nan ou. Ou se yon enspirasyon vre nan konfyans pasyans ak andirans. Mwen priye ke tou sa vini fason mwen an, mwen kapab kenbe li kòm ou genyen. Kenbe deplase devan. Jezi pa te bliye ou.

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