Posted by: bwoof | February 23, 2014

Haiti

Last July I went to Haiti after being persuaded that I didn’t have to do anything but LEARN and take a few photos.409-young kids collect water early in the morning

Ah…you got me there! How could I refuse under those circumstances? 🙂

It was a transforming trip — understatement! But I am collecting my thoughts in the following areas:

Things that are awesome about Haiti:

Community – people are interdependent and very visibly in groups along the streets, or in front of their humble dwellings. I don’t think I saw any ‘back yards’ or private 3-car garages or other blocked off spaces where independence reigns supreme

Creativity – people in Haiti seem to love colour and innovation. Their laws-of-physics-defying vehicles are decorated to the max and their dwellings feature the most creative weavings of vines and leaves and reeds all designed to provide shade and shelter. I saw incredible displays of bananas and mangos and watermelons, all carried carefully on tops of heads or on the backs of donkeys. I’ve never been that creative.

In contrast, things that are awesome about Canada include:

Common Good – although I don’t love paying taxes, I love what my taxes support. Things like smooth roads, dependable health care, safe streets, ample food supply, and law & order are all common and good in my country. My trip to Haiti reminded me of this in ways that are humbling and demand a heart of gratitude on my part

Certainty – in Canada there’s a very good chance that my kids will go to school from the time they are little to the time they are adults. There’s a high probability that I’ll have dental and medical care and that I’ll have a quick way to get to my appointments, and that when I get there things will be clean, not just clean but sanitized. I’ll have quick access to a pharmacy and I’ll have more than enough money to pay for what I need. There’s also a good chance that en route to wherever I go in my car that I’ll pass a few grocery stores, an arena, library, schools, churches, government buildings, and even restaurants with food from around the world.

Grateful for:

~ A chance to see something outside my Canada-box

~ Safe travels even though there are no traffic rules or CSA standards visible in Haiti

~ My Haitien and Creole-speaking friends who are not only smart but very patient and kind to a mono-glot English speaker

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