Anniversary is such a pleasant word, loaded with images of success, accomplishment – love. It’s a hard word to associate with the largest human disaster in modern history. But, here we are, packing for Haiti, five years after the earthquake that killed hundreds of thousands of people. Five years after so many promises of “Build Back Better” that left behind Cholera instead of hope. Clean water, sewage treatment and reliable electricity are still a dream. Gas and food prices are up, as is unemployment. Parliament has been virtually disbanded, and protests fill the street. The president tries to hold onto his last mandated year in office. Protests turn to prayer and prayer to protests.
Voices ring out from houses of worship honoring those lost. No one there can forget. The western press told us to be afraid of marauding masses after the quake. Instead we found the streets eerily quiet, deep in sadness.
It lingers (maybe a lifetime).
I just can’t shake some of the images…tarp shrouded loved ones left for collection in the center-divide of the main street. Scores of tents desperately trying to shade scores of dying patientsoutside over-crowded hospitals. A silent orphan taking me by the hand to witness her only meal that day – a simple bowl of rice naked of even a few beans and water from a stale well.
One could ask, how do I stay hopeful? I remember Kalamazoo and Howard Zinn’s question period after a speech he gave there. How do you stay cheerful in a “violent and unjust world”?
His answer: “The willingness to undertake such action cannot be based on certainties, but on those possibilities glimpsed in a reading of history different from the customary painful recounting of human cruelties. In such a reading we can find not only war but resistance to war, not only injustice but rebellion against injustice, not only selfishness but self-sacrifice, not only silence in the face of tyranny but defiance, not only callousness but compassion.”
Thank you for your support of the work Children’s Hope does in Haiti. We really couldn’t do it without you.
If you'd like to support our solidarity work in Haiti, please send a tax deductible donation in any amount to Children's Hope at the address below. Many hands make the burden lighter.
All ways and always,
Leisa, Paul and Luke
3025A Cambridge Road, Cameron Park, CA 95682