As I write this, I’m not even sure how to convey the feelings and thoughts that I have over the events that have taken place in Haiti. It seems that Mark McGwire’s confession, Lane Kiffin’s exodus to USC, American Idol and whatever else are as meaningless as they really are in the grand scheme of things.
In attempt, and to begin, I could say that I have been fortunate enough to grow up in a place such as New York City, a place that is diverse in every way imaginable. A place that is home to the largest population of Haitians in the United States. Due to that, I was able to encounter, experience, and appreciate the Haitian culture and most importantly, the kind of love the culture embraces.
Many of my friends growing up were from Haitian families, and a few of those friends are still some of my closest friends today. And through my friendship with them, my experience with the culture, what I have learned from other Haitian-Americans in New York City, combined with the roots of my family being from the Caribbean, I felt a connect with the nation and its current situation.
So on a day after such destruction hit, part of me finds myself in despair. Confused. Sad. And guilty, yes guilty. Guilt for sometimes taking for granted the blessings we have here in the United States.
Haiti has always been a nation that has struggled in many ways. In fact, I learned today that it is the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation. A description and fact that I found to be eye opening, yet, not quite shocking.
Through the corrupt political actions, various illnesses, hurricanes, mudslides, hunger strikes, and now earthquakes, Haiti, a country between and surrounded by so many other sufficient nations (including being connected to the Dominican Republic), seems to have always found wrath’s hand. A wrath that almost seems, and I believe is, Devine in design.
However, as I continue to struggle in sorting out these feelings, I look at a nation that was already struggling in its existence, and now finds itself without water and electricity, with buildings collapsed around them, with prisoners let loose from the destruction, with little to no way of communicating to relatives in the States, and with tens of thousands presumed dead, I can’t imagine how one of my closest friends, who cannot get in touch with his family must feel.
My prayers and thoughts to the people and families of Haiti.