23 July 2010

back from Haiti!

Well world, I'm back in the U. S. of A!

In my last few days in Haiti, we mainly finished up training Kelsey's Haitian replacement beading-program-manager, Sherilee. A really cool thing about the Clays and the ApParent project is that they're all about making it self-sustaining, which ultimately means that it is by Haitians, for Haitians-- and I think that this is really how missions need to work. It's so great when international groups come in and "lend a helping hand," but ultimately, natives have to work to change their own country-- we shouldn't come in with an attitude of needing to FIX everything- because sometimes, even though it's different, it's not broken the way we think it is.

We spent one of our last days in PĂ©tionville, which is the richest part of P-a-P (which isn't really saying much..) and the arts center of the city. A really pretty place, and we went took Sherilee to a fancy restaurant on the 7th floor of a building (and she *joked* that if the next earthquake happened while we were up there... at least we wouldn't get squished bc we were on the top floor... hilarious...) where we saw views of everything, from the Caribbean sea to the mountains. So so pretty. And still, so much destruction everywhere. It felt like 2/3 buildings everywhere had fallen and were still down, crumbling, like huge destroyed tombs everywhere.

But through it all, I really really didn't feel distraught or hopeless- no one seemed to. Life in Haiti is hard, but people are resilient and have adapted. Everyone was poor before- and they're a little more poor now, but the earthquake and its aftermath has not defined them. Surely they don't like it and it seriously stinks-- but that's just what life is right now. Heavy stuff, world, but so encouraging that people didn't seem to have their spirits completely crushed... even after living in tents with no running water for 7 months.

So yeah. That's my trip in a nutshell... I have millions of bug bites, pictures, a fairly severe burn from a motorcycle (we rode on mototaxis to get around everywhere), and HSM songs permanently stuck in my head-- but all in all, a positive memory of my short week and a half in Haiti.

Thanks for reading, world.
Bendiciones, juli

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