Miss Charite and a few other random thoughts about Haiti

Bon jou! Computer access again, it’s amazing. Actually, I’m at Charity’s office where they have wireless…a lot sure has changed since I was here last. When I first arrived for my teaching job in 2001, we had the worst internet connection and would wait nearly an hour to read or send one e-mail.

So anyway, Charity is the reason I’m back in Haiti. When I came here to teach, I lived with her and another roommate. She helped me adjust to Haiti, having already lived here a while–one year out in an orphanage in the countryside, and many more in Port-au-Prince.

I promised Charity that I would write a post about her, picture and all. So what really impresses me about her, and many others in Haiti, is her dedication to this country and the people. She’s worked here for I think 5 or 6 years now, and just became the country director for the Mennonite Central Committee. They work here in Haiti on reforestation projects and human rights. I’ve been teasing her that she is now the “gwo chef” or head honcho, but she’s very humble about it all.

Okay, a few other random thoughts about Haiti since yesterday’s post–first, you will never see a night as dark as night in Haiti. Without electricity or many street lights, stepping out of someone’s house at night is like stepping into another world. I remember reading a great description of the darkness in Edwidge Danticant’s book “Breath, Eyes, Memory.”

Another random thing–Nearly everyone in Port-au-Prince is now carrying around 2 cell phones. It either attests to the disorganization present in daily life, or the ingenuity of Haitians. A new cell phone company came in recently offering lower rates and charging by the second instead of the minute along with better international rates. However, their network does not interface with the existing cell phone company, so everyone carries two phones with two numbers.

One last random thought–I went to a Bible study last night with Charity, and was impressed with the sharing and study of the Bible in so many different languages. As the study began, the pastor asked us to read the last chapter of 1st John, taking turns reading around the circle. As the verses were read, each person read the next verse in his or her own language, encompassing at least three or four lanuages by the time the chapter was done. There is beauty in the diversity of the body of Christ.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Miss Charite and a few other random thoughts about Haiti

  1. I live here, but I find your impressions so interesting– makes me want to visit the places you describe eventhough its my daily reality!

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