Saturday, April 17, 2010

Overdue for an Update

Mostly we've been posting pictures and video lately. Sometimes pictures speaker louder than words and also sometimes we're just too busy to update our blog.

What's keeping us so busy these days?

Classes have resumed at the SKDE seminary and thank God for Sharon because now that she and Bryan are living in Port-Au-Prince, she will be working with Nixon to create a better, more systematized curriculum for our social justice, human rights and advocacy classes. See Sharon's post about our first class since the earthquake.

MCC is moving forward with a well thought-out response to the earthquake that will include income generation to create sustainable livelihoods, projects to strengthen national agricultural production and others, mostly with a focus on decentralization. More on that and things Ben and I have been working on later.

An announcement by President Preval (being spread endlessly on the radio) that we should be expecting another earthquake. A month and a half ago, this unsubstantiated rumor would have had us sleeping in the driveway, which is testimony to how much more normal we are feeling. I was talking to my mom earlier this week and she told me that I sound like myself again. I guess most of our post-earthquake healing has happened so gradually - and less as an effort on our part than as a function of life simply going on - that we haven't even noticed it happen. Our life in Haiti will never be the same and in some ways, we'll never be the same either, but I can say with a fair amount of certainty now that I am well.

Another gas shortage. Remember this one? Once again, it's difficult to find out exactly why there's little gas to be had in Port-Au-Prince but it stands to reason that when all of the gas stations in the country are owned by a small, wealthy group of business owners and the government decides to try to lower the cost of gas so that more people can afford it, said business owners will strike back. This is neoliberal capitalism hard at work, folks.

Waiting for kittens. Every day we rush home to see if Luna has delivered... And every day her mid-section just looks a little bit fatter.

Seeing rubble move. The new hotel catty-corner to our house (we can actually see it through our window when we're lying in bed) is being demolished because it was damaged in the earthquake. In the more visible parts of the city, damaged buildings are being demolished - most by a few manual laborers with sledgehammers - and rubble is being cleared. An ugly thing happening is that both the government and private landowners are beginning to force displaced people to move from many of the camps that spontaneously sprung up in the days following the earthquake. What's being publicized is that with the rainy season beginning, the government and international community have set up five areas on the outskirts of the city and are giving people in IDP camps that are at high risk for flooding and landslides the option and cash incentives to move. What's not being publicized are the other, forcible evictions taking place all over Port-Au-Prince with no resettlement options available for people.

Lastly, The Christian Century published an interview with us that you can see here and Ben has updated the photo slideshow at the bottom of this page.

That's it for now.


Rebecca said...

Really appreciate the update/news. I resonate with your comment about the busyness of life helping you move forward - being back in Ithaca in a quieter student mode has actually been the hardest part personally of post-quake experience. My next Haiti visit is likely going to be in mid-May for 10 days or so. Will let you know.

Matt said...

so glad for this update... and to hear that you're falling back into a new "norm." love you guys! JRD


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