“Woch nan dlo pa konnen mize woch nan soley.” Haitian Proverb
The rock in the water doesn’t know about the misery of the rock in the sun.
It has been a disheartening first few days in Haiti for our FIDA group. Haiti once again finds itself in the middle of a political and economic crisis and protestors have all but shut down the country. The streets are essentially empty with only a few motorcycles and pedestrians out and about. Businesses and schools remain closed, street vendors are nowhere to be found and even the tap-taps have stopped operating. The people of Haiti are mostly hunkering down and waiting to see what will happen next with their government and with the on-going protests.
While it’s disappointing to not be able to visit our projects in the countryside and to have our group confined to the guest house, our troubles are minimal in comparison to the struggles of the Haitian people. They are demanding accountability from a government that continues to oppress the masses while maintaining the interests of the immoral elites. They protest $2 billion in missing funds meant for social programs in the country. They protest the rising cost of living that makes feeding their families difficult and sending their children to school cost prohibitive. They protest being an afterthought not only to their own government, but the world at large…demanding to be heard and to have opportunities for their children that we so often take for granted. Of course, the situation here is more complicated than protesting poverty. There are political forces paying people to protest and block roads to aid their own political motivations. However, at the end of the day, asking for the right to simply exist can’t be considered too radical, right? The Haitian people deserve better.