Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Big Brother Ventures Out into the world

This is not about an Orwellian world. Rather, about my real flesh and blood big brother. A renewed interest in God led him on a 6 day trip into the rural depths of Haiti where he volunteered at an orphanage with a group of fellow parishioners. This past weekend, I visited him with my cousin in law and we ended up his captive audience for a slide show with over 300 pictures. Images of major urban decay, and the decay of the flesh from aggressive parasites on many beautiful Haitian children and adults they treated flashed up on the screen, along with pictures of children wishing to be adopted. Supposedly, you can adopt these children for $5000 each. You can also pay for one year of education for one child, which includes a hot meal every day for $100 a year. Talk about a different economy.

It wasn't all despair. My brother asked the orphans to dance for the camera. At first reluctant, they moved shyly, slowly. Then, after seeing the instant playback, they morphed into happy children with broad smiles all wiggling and waving. He also taught them how to make a silly batmanesque mask over their eyes using their hands. Directors and orphans alike all posed with this mask, as if it was a local custom.

I asked him if the experience changed him. He didn't really have an answer. He knew the work was hopeless in a way. All those infected with worms would most likely just get reinfected. The poverty is rampant, as is the prevalence of AIDS. Yet, he fell in love with the people, who he described as beautiful and innocent. If they live with hope, then anyone can drum up a dose of hope in their lives.

Way to go big brother.


Trekking Left said...

Nice post. It just seems to me like a country as wealthy as ours could do more for people in these situations.

Chryss said...

What's most distressing is that the US caused most of this poverty and suffering. Policies which undermined local agriculture and forced farmers off their land and into slums like Cite Soleil, repeated military invasions and interference, collaboration with dictatorial regimes... our hands are not clean.

Haiti was the second nation in the western hemisphere to win independence, defeating Napoleon's army in 1804, the world's only successful slave rebellion.

Haiti was the "Pearl of the Caribbean," and is now the poorest and second-most densely population nation in the western hemisphere. And sadly, they have US to thank for it.
We didn't act entirely alone: France used devastating economic sanctions against the new nation. But today, Haiti is crippled by debt to the World Bank and IMF, debts incurred as the dictatorial Duvalier regime ransacked the national treasury.
The US could act now to forgive this oppressive and unfair debt that is keeping Haiti impoverished.
Please contact your representatives to support the Hait Debt Cancellation Bill, or read more about it here:

Chryss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristin Anderson said...

I totally agree. Looks like whackamole has given us a venue. And, if anyone's interested in sponsoring a child's education for a year, just let me know and I can connect you with the church.

Kristin Anderson said...

Oh Queen,

Thank you SO MUCH for giving this background. It is so incredibly sad and I've heard that the US was the main culprit for the chaos and corruption. Such beautiful people. Such a crime against humanity. Our 'Christian' President should take action that would turn this from a rags to riches nation.