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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Haiti, the Land of the Living

Haitian people are in my opinion the most resilient people on this earth. Despite their continued state of instability being idle is not an option for the typical Haitian. Most people think that the Haitians are just lying around in their tents doing nothing, however that is quite the contrary. Every morning the people will get up at the crack of dawn to set up shop, whether under the rubble or outside their tents. Every day you will find people selling whatever they can to survive and you will find children leaving the camps to go to school. Despite living amongst heaps of trash and rubble, they maintain a sense of normalcy. The Haitians have refused to let their country become the land of the dead.

They say whenever you visit your motherland; it always involves some sort of self-discovery. For me, I learned that my resilient nature is innate. There have been times where I wanted to give up because situations seemed hopeless, but something inside of me would never let me. I often refer to myself as a cockroach, because we all know that you can never exterminate a cockroach. In fact (well according to Wikipedia) even if there were to be a nuclear explosion, the cockroach would survive. (I know weird analogy). The point I am trying to make is that my resilience is a character trait that stems from my Haitian roots and that no matter what I can never give up.

One year later, the tent cities are still up. Many people are facing evictions from these camps and the government is doing nothing to stop it. There are not enough paying jobs. Cholera has become endemic, and the prison system is a mess to say the least. Yet even in the midst of their problems, the spirit of the Haitian people will not be broken. Cholera will not break them, being evicted will not discourage them, and their lack of access to water will not destroy them. Why? Because they are Haitian. The situation may seem hopeless, but Haiti is truly the land of the living.

I believe in Haiti’s future. There is still hope, and this year’s trip affirmed this. Aside from learning that HST (Haitian Standard Time) is strictly enforced throughout the country, I believe each group member learned a valuable lesson. I believe that all of them were able to walk away knowing that there is hope for Haiti. The team has done some amazing work and our findings have given our group new meaning. I feel more dedicated to our work than ever before. It is sad that this will be my last year on the project, but I am confident that the group will never forget what we did in Haiti, and that they will continue to work for a better Haiti.

Ayiti Pap Kraze! (Haiti will never be destroyed)

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