". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Life In Haiti

Our friend, M., who left the U.S. to be with her six-year-old daughter, K., to protect her and take care of her, as all her caretakers were killed,  is depressed.  Though the visa application and permission papers are in the system, so that M. can bring K. to her home here, nothing is happening.  And after it almost happened, but administration had put in the wrong birth date, and it all had to begin again, she's fearing permission to take K back home is never going to happen.

She can't go out of the hotel room -- it is the bare minimum, i.e. a door that locks, a roof and walls, and it is still $25 a night, but there you go. It's too dangerous to go out. Also, because the word has gone around that she's got an American husband, Mz, so this MUST mean she's really rich, thus K is a prime target for kidnapping. Mz's is working as a tour guide, that's how rich they are.

K.'s been sick with one thing after another ever since she came down with dysentery. M is also struggling with being a mom. She's never been a 24/7 mother since K. was an infant, because she left for the U.S., with the hopes that Mz shared with her, that they could make a better life for K. So being locked in a tiny room with a little girl 24/7 takes its own toll, particularly since this is a new experience for M. M.'s also very independent.
Both M and Mz are having a hard time maintaining their spirits. We try to help.

What Haiti fears so much as that the world has forgotten them again, already, in the light of the many catastrophes that have happened elsewhere since.

No comments: