It’s funny to think of using an alarm clock in Haiti. As if the world here revolved around the restrictions of a clock. Certainly, everything here is restricted by time, that ever rolling enemy to some, but not to the clock! If you want to work here, any type of physical labor, you rely on time. Cooler in the morning hours, lunch, and if you are wise a respite during early afternoon before returning to work. But bear in mind, work must be completed by 5, as an evening meal will take you to seven, an dark come very quickly after. And it is dark. In a world where there is little if not none electricity, dark is something that cannot be experienced in the US, especially in a city or town or any size or consequence.. In Haiti, dark is dark, and by the way, the stars are unbelievable.
I think in the states, in the cities, we forget the magnitude of the universe around us. We forget the grandeur of the stars, the dark skies, the heavens, or whatever you choose to call the vast darkness past the glow of our sun. The dark skies of Haiti enlighten your inner being, your soul.
You can see so far into the sky that you forget the focus of all of your problems on earth. There is a world, a universe beyond us that makes us small, and never has that been more obvious than here, standing on the yard outside our guest house in the very dark looking at the sky.
Finish work early, if you are a stranger to the country or town, and head for home. Or you will be trapped in the dark. And while monetarily lost in blackness, you will also be lost in the splendor of the night. Like no night you have ever seen.
And then there are the anomalies that also make up Haiti. From the porch of our guest house you can see one of the unexplainable examples of relief work or NGO work you can imagine. Think to yourself, if you are sitting in your home or office, and say to yourself, “What does Haiti need?” Don’t look at the country, or try to understand it, and for God’s sake do not ask any Haitian person what they need. You are God right now, you are USA and Minnesota and white and alone in the world in your arrogance. And you know what the Haitian people need.
Power lines. Power lines travel vast distances around Haiti, and are clearly visible from the Kay Visite where we stay. Wooden poles, dug deep into the earth, wires stretching for miles to bring something unknown into Haitian homes.
Power lines. Put into place by an unnamed group of Minnesotans, years ago, with no real knowledge of what is needed or wanted by the populace of Pignon.
Power lines. Trucks, hole digging equipment, miles of high voltage wire strung between the poles, disappearing into the city, and in the other direction into the vast beyond.
Think for just one moment, one brief moment of focused rationale thought. There are power lines that some group built here, through quite an effort of planning and buying and shipping and construction and money and labor.
There is no electricity. None. There is nothing to carry through these miles of power lines. Nothing. There is no electricity, no way to provide it, no way to get it, no plans to bring electricity to Pignon.
But there are power lines here.
I just don’t understand. I don’t understand how people can think they know what others need, without any real knowledge or understanding at all.
Power lines. Perhaps the power needs to be in the people of Haiti, and fewer lines connected to the outsiders, the relief workers, the miracle workers found EVERYWHERE around in Haiti…