I am so thrilled to find the internet! Hallelujah! It has been rainy off and on so the satelite internet here and there has been out. Or on for twelve seconds and then off.
Making it quick in case...
I am having a great time meeting people and asking questions, as well as sharing the book. Many Haitians have given me great reviews of Hope for Haiti and can understand my intentions. I admit, I am understanding my own intentions better having come. The following were reasons I desired to make this book:
- because my feelings of sorrfor the Haitians after the earthquake demanded some action on my part and not a glib text message for $10.
- to keep Haiti in the minds of kids and teachers and parents for longer than the quick news clip.
- to teach kids in the states about the culture and history of Haiti, outside just the imagery of tragedy and earthquake and poverty. Haiti has an amazing history, and one that the US is tied to very much. (more about that later)
- to learn myself, what can I do as a writer and illustrator in world problems... can I help out the world with these skills? is it valid? is it worth doing?
- to connect myself with my neighbor, who regardless of how many blocks away they live, I desire to care about.
My friend, Josele, who has been translating when I talk to kids, has been such a great example of the dilligent and hard working Haitian community that does not get press. Instead the gangsters, the thugs, and the destitute are what we learn about in the media. Josele was driving all day long to take me out to the country, volunteering his time on his day off, in order to help a stranger. I found out that he works with kids in Port au Prince, and helps with programs in the interior as well. He is a great, massive, football player looking dude, with badass sunglasses and a brilliant smile that erupts in warm laughter at the last second. I did not have any Haitian money yet and so he bought me some groceries. He insisted I not repay him. Later I found out he and his wife were living in a tent because their home was destroyed in Port au Prince. His wife now lives with her mother outside the city because she is pregnant and many neighborhoods there are just not safe for anyone to drive through, period. Traffic in the city, he told me, is now worse than ever because nobody drives through certain areas at all.
I will try hard to get more pics and vids tomorrow. So far, I have not wanted to ruin these fantastic connections by trying to can them. But I know that getting more documentation is important to share, and so I will strive for it.
Thanks to all my people for their thoughts and prayers. It is a beautiful country, with people so strong and wonderful, I cannot express it in words. Much love to any of you kiddos who are checking out this blog from Hinch. Come play soccer with me again tomrorrow, eh?