Haiti

High school boy Wikersen and his friends work to reforest Haiti

  • Posted on: 28 August 2015
  • By: Sander

Planting trees

As a girl pinned a red flower to my shirt, Wikersen informed me “You’re going first”. “Oh no I’m not, I need to see how this is working first!” He disappeared, returning a few minutes later to tell me I would be third. Fine. All I knew was that I was expected to give a speech on waste management, to which I decided to focus on composting as something they could act on without relying on others, but I had no idea what the rest of the evening was. It had been described to me as an event, a party and a presentation but that was about as detailed as it had gotten. I suppose it was all of those things. The evening was all in Creole except for my speech which was translated by Wikersen, and was a series of speeches, poetry, theater and song about Haiti, the environment and politics. Impressive for anyone to set up an event like that, more so when remembering he has not yet graduated from High School. 

Haiti - Moving forward while looking back

  • Posted on: 4 March 2011
  • By: Sander

My mind has been on Haiti quite a bit lately.  I'm working on ideas for another trip there, figuring out a project I can do there with photography and some children, as well as creative ideas for funding that trip.  I'll keep the details to myself till they're a bit more solid, but I'll let it be the inspiration for today's piece.

What do I mean when I say moving forward while looking back?  Well moving forward is obvious - a lot of work needs to be done to put the pieces back together there and it's going to take a lot of effort from a lot of people.  First the earthquake, then cholera, brought in by people that were trying to help and now the political system in disarray (again).  We have to remember that the brunt of this responsibility lies with the Haitian people themselves, supported, encouraged and funded when necessary by people in a better place.  The idea that "we", the "developed" nations are going to "pull these poor people out of their misery" and "save" them belongs in another century and was founded out of a combination of missionary values and colonial guilt. But whoever does it, however it's done, it's clear that there's a lot of work ahead.  Not only do buildings need to be rebuilt, hope does as well.

Earthquake in Haiti

  • Posted on: 13 January 2010
  • By: Sander

I want to say something others haven't yet, but I'm not sure I can, being that I am not there. I have heard little from my connections there since the phones are down. All I can do at the moment is work to find a way to get down there and help, and hope that happens soon enough to really make a difference.

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