Posted by: petertluce | April 2, 2009

Haiti Visit 2009

April 2, 2009 – Back in Haiti after 16 months. Weird feelings were bothering me leading up to this unexpected (due to lack of funds) trip. I actually was beginning to feel anxieties about my safety. My guess is that this is what happens when one is not grounded, in touch, present to a place and its people after an absence. Feelings can be misleading, if well intended as a protective device, but I’m here to say that the feelings now flooding my psyche are positive, grounded, in touch, enjoying the grasps of the real people, the real place. Yes, the US State Department warns people not to come. Yes, I’m here to continue working on the violence done against innocent people. But now instead of feeling frightened, I’m bolstered in my faith in humans again, because of the incredible (until you’ve experienced it) soulful, deep feeling Haitian people. It is part fantasy, sure, but the banner greeting me at the airport, “Haiti has been looking forward to seeing you”, started it all.

The trip from the airport is typical Haiti, cars bumper to bumper on narrow, deep rutted, unpaved streets. But I don’t experience the road rage with honking horns back home. People just keep moving. A man walks the narrow space between the opposite lanes selling something for the thirsty (below right).

I see people walking the streets, unafraid, focused on getting somewhere, looking alive. Then comes the cute artsy walls of a kindergarten to charm us all.

And another preschool painting on the street where I will live for two weeks. I’m feeling “back home”, a place vibrant with trucks filling water tanks that people come to for house water because there isn’t any running water, with kids playing in the street because it’s “Easter” vacation. I know that vast numbers of children don’t have access to good education but I’m here to be with people who suffer this and yet have a will to advocate, non-violently, for this right.

The neighborhood comes alive when the public power is turned on (typically for a couple of hours). I can continue working on this blog because we have a solar powered system, another richness of Haiti. And at 9:38 the “EDH”, public power goes away. And the first mosquito buzzes me. Not something that happened often before. Out with the mosquito net!


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