15 July 2010

Haiti is not like what you see on the news

Hello world,
just a few thoughts about my time so far in Haiti....

1. So I'm staying in the Clay's house, which is super nice and way bigger than expected. Like many developing countries, there is really no middle class in Haiti, so it's either tents or huge house as the housing options... It's nice because there are beds and fans and an ice maker and stuff, but it kind of stinks, too, because it just perpetuates the idea that all Americans are rich and the Santa Claus mentality where white people will give you whatever you want. The Clays do their best to combat that idea, but with so much need all around, it's really hard.

2. It's really very hot here... K and I can't decide if it's hotter than Mexico was, because we get to be inside a lot more here, but during the afternoon, it's definitely 90s-100s. Oy. But-- we have lots of fans and water inside, so it's not so bad.

3. We went to a tent city today to visit some of Kelsey's friends from the beading program, and i think I finally realized I am in Haiti. Port Au Prince is kind of deceiving, because it looks just like any poor city, just with extra rubble to get around... but words cannot describe how hot and stuffy and miserable it would be to spend day in and day out in one of those tents with seriously no end in sight. And since 90% of the country is unemployed, it's not like they really have anywhere to go during the day to remove them from the tents... However, all that being said, it is not like what you see on the news. There isn't death around every corner, or angry people pillaging or burning things. It's hot and are people poor, but it's not nearly as dramatic as I thought it would be.

Personallly, I don't even know what the best way to help would be, because just sending aid and money makes the country even more dependent upon other countries and doesn't really work to fix the long-term and deep-seeded problems in the country... But people are seriously dying in these conditions. We had a super long conversation with Corrigan (he and wife run the ApParent Project) about what "missons" are/ should be/ how to help in a sustainable and dignity-fostering way. So so interesting... It's really been giving me a different perspective on short-term mission trips, and ways to do them more effectively...

Anywho... I think we have water back on up here, so I'm going to go--
Thanks for following along and praying for me, world!
Bendiciones, juli

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