Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wednesday October 12, 2011

'One Day at a Time'

On a day like today you are not awakened by noisy commuters passing by below your window, nor by car horns asserting themselves as each vehicle moves down the block, or even by a siren in the distance rushing to an emergency. Rather you are awakened by a cacophony of the animal kingdom both of land and air. When you arise it is barely day break and the people have already commenced daily activities of setting up

Such a full day today. In the morning, our team was able to teach the school children a condensed geography lesson. We showed US and World maps and our connection to each other. The children are so bright and there is so much energy and love in them despite the incessant impressions of hopelessness they face everyday they offer so much hope for Haiti. The children shared with us that they like colors, cars, soccer, jump-rope, and one very vocal young man said he loves to make his garden! It is painful to know that even if most of these kids are able to make it through primary school there is little support that would allow them to matriculate to high school or even finish and for a great majority of them college is out of the question. shop at the marketplace, gathering hand tools for the days work, or carrying water from the well. In each activity in each day there is such a sense of community, everyone does his/her part and the movements continue all working individually for a collective purpose.

My eyes have definitely been opened up to new ways of performing routine tasks; washing and drying clothes, storing food, cooking food, cleaning dishes. It really is a different way of life, a simple life, a resilient life, a get-up-everyday-and-do-what-is-required-life.

In the afternoon we visit Leogane, the epicenter of the earthquake. Haiti once thrived on exports to sustain her economy yet due to constant political unrest and a shift in agricultural resources Haiti now imports more goods than it exports. Here in Leogane we visited a sugarcane factory which was once a thriving business and was nearly disposed of with the fall of the Duvalier government. The factory continues to run today but not as robust as it once had. We did see a silver lining in the cloud when we visited a Co-op. Local growers are able to come to the cooperative center to turn their peanuts, fruits, and other crops in to marketable goods such as peanut butter and confiture. The center was initially funded by foreign investment but now is fully funded without outside endorsement.

In the midst of broken buildings, disturbed roadways, and collapsed homes the spirit of the people is resolute. The effects of the damage from the event will be everlasting for most because all people lost something or someone. Often we forget these images and struggles because they no longer reside even in the depths of our memory once the cameras are turned off here and show furor of the next cataclysm. We need to remember that our Haitian brothers and sisters were already living in a world of fear, pain, disappointment, and poverty. Thank God for the resiliency of Haiti because she refuses to be kept down.

Kaiyra Greer

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