Friday, October 22, 2010

Extra, Extra!

Things are looking spectacularly bad in Haiti this week. If you've been following the Haiti-related news, you'll know that after the UN's controversial peacekeeping mandate (MINUSTAH) was renewed, UN peacekeepers clashed with a peaceful protest a day or so before a prison riot in Port-Au-Prince left 3 inmates and 7 hostages dead. You'll know that 12 were reported dead and 3 missing due to flooding and landslides and you'll have seen reports that the upcoming presidential elections are marred with corruption and controversy (more on this sometime). And even if you're not following the news closely, you'll probably have heard that a cholera outbreak that began in the Artibonite has affected more than 2,000 and is spreading.

In our MCC team meeting this morning, one of my Haitian coworkers said, "First the earthquake, then storms and flooding and now cholera... I don't know what to think about what's happening to my country, but I think it's only going to get worse. We need to pray but not just for Haiti, for the world."

Not just for Haiti, for the world... See, the thing is that Haiti is not just an isolated island floating out here in the Caribbean. Our histories, our lifestyles and our political and economic systems are intrinsically tied up with Haiti's. To quote Adrienne, "for five centuries, Haiti has experienced the destructive impacts of the [world's] major developments: colonialism, racism, environmental exploitation, unequal economic growth, and, most recently, devastating natural disasters exacerbated by poverty."

How do we respond?


Anonymous said...

It is crazy stuff, and it is heartbreaking. It makes me feel very helpless.

These last two posts are, well they're not good, because they are about people suffering, but they ARE good because we who are not in Haiti need to know, and we need to be reminded, and we NEED to be interceding on their behalf like crazy, and sometimes we forget to.

And I think sometimes we forget that each person suffering in Haiti, and each person other than ourselves in general, is created in the image of God and has an immortal soul.

Thank you both for reminding me of these things.

Love, MED

Jenny said...

You are responding. By working in Haiti and by advocating for Haiti through many ways, which includes your blog. Thank you for the "we" in your final question. It reminds us that we all need to respond to human suffering.

I'm not sure how to respond. I do know that when personal stories are shared in your blog (such as the woman that spent ten years saving to have a house, only to have it destroyed by the earthquake) these people are much more real to me and I can better empathize with their struggles- such as your Haitian co-workers worry that only strife lies ahead.

I also read your blog due to your honesty and personal experiences in Haiti (including snails attacking the crops!) Keep it up. Thank you for the updates.

Will work on response.


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