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The Journey of Another Day…

April 8, 2010

All I can do is write a blog to express myself at times.  I miss my family, I miss being able to have someone to talk to, but then I know that people are reading and that we are all sharing in this experience together, and that I am not alone.  Its beautiful, humbling, and kinetic…a contrast in itself.  That’s what I want to write about today.  The contrasts, the level of work that is being done in Hayti, and the contrasts that I find disturbing, yet have to come to grips with, and that are the norm (for some).  It’s not just Hayti because in NY we walk over bums and beggars without acknowledging them…we even call them bums!  The epidemic of street children is not just one that exists in Hayti- in all countries we have our versions, yet the symptoms and conditions are the same: any drug available (thinner, glue, cement, etc..), and as usual there are the have’s and have not folks that exist everywhere.  For some reason, perhaps because Hayti runs through my veins, its become a paradigm shift here…with my people, my culture, especially knowing the beauty of our culture and the beauty of where I come from.  There’s nothing better than who I am.  There’s nothing better than who we are.  I try not to be nationalistic because after Hayti truly becomes independent and free we’ll have to continue working so that all people can be free.  The paradigm shift I am experiencing is hopefully preparing me to love my brother, my sister, and everyone else I interact with, because that is the point.  That is the end goal…beyond the contrasts.

Today…I began my morning with a call from a UN Human Rights representative in regards to my last post about the removal of 11,800 people in Delmas.  I left feeling helpless, but I know better.  The strength lies in the community and they are strong and organized, and they have the solutions and they have the ideas and they have the power.  They simply need to have a voice and they have to be a part of the term we use so often here: stakeholders.  They are the stakeholders….this is a lesson that the Haytian culture has taught us all (those who know) and it is a lesson that quickly was learned post January 12th. I wanted to walk away with a solution and a cure, and I was reminded that patience and time are important and that we cannot look for solutions outside of those who are not living the experience, who do not know what it is like to live the experience, instead it is about support.  And I support the community…I am the community.  We are the community…et pa vrai?

I spent most of the week  (its really more but I won’t go into the details of that adventure!) trying to find housing for the Nouvelle Vie Hayti program, which is a capacity building program that I am working to establish in Port-au-Prince (they were previously active in Hinche, Mirebalais, Cap Haitien, Les Cayes, and Carrefour).  I secured a house for the pilot program and look forward to providing a stress management tool for Haytians by Haytians that build on the richness of the country and culture.  I see people jump when trucks roll by, and when tables shake and when someone drags something off of a table.  There has to be another option for stress/trauma relief that doesn’t depend on others…everything should be infused with empowerment!  We are offering stress management workshops to several communities in Site Soley, in Delmas, Carrefour Feuilles and would like to provide the same to relief workers as well…we’re all in need of stress relief.  Even I look forward to taking the AoL course again.

I ended my day with a community meeting in Carrefour Feuilles.  We are getting somewhere and I have a team of leaders who have never been paid, who have shared, and have been committed to their communities.  They have lost their homes and have not asked for much besides resources.  We are working together to build committees in each community so that we can identify needs with the participation of the community so that whatever support we receive benefits the community, as a collective.  I work to gather support and to facilitate the resources and work as an adviser of sorts, and they are my force, my drive, my inspiration and my leaders. We have our first training tomorrow, which ACTED’s sanitation department is providing so that we can begin to mobilize.  Eventually, I would like for these 20 individuals to be paid for their dedicated and invaluable services, and secure continued mobilization training for them, so that they can continue to do the work that no one else can do better…

I leave it at that for tonight…thank you for listening, for reading, and thank you for sharing.  Your comments, advice, support and love are important to us all…we feel your energy and your support.

In Solidarity

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Joe Binard permalink
    April 8, 2010 9:49 am

    as usual another great poat by one of the great humanitarians I have ever met

  2. Gloria permalink
    April 8, 2010 12:35 pm

    Regine! I love you and I am SO proud of you. Stay strong.

    • April 8, 2010 8:03 pm

      Tx…I’m proud of us too…def an experience to learn from. See you soon 😉

  3. Deepa permalink
    April 8, 2010 3:13 pm

    Was feeling extremely helpless and your post made me tear up, in its reminder about patience and lived experience.

    Patience, and persistence…I am so incredibly happy to see your loving work in CF and persistence in dealing with Acted coming to fruition … such significant steps being taken by the community…

    love you,
    deepa

    • April 8, 2010 7:54 pm

      Thanks D…appreciate your comment and I’m so glad that comfort is reciprocal.

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