Haiti on my mind
Coup d’Etats, embargo, chimeres, gun shots, uprisings, we had it all in Haiti. But rayi chen di dan’l blan in the 90’s we also lived in a time where it was still possible to go downtown Port-au-Prince alone to our favorite bookstores. Remember La Pleiade, Librairie Auguste and the street vendors who would exchange your old books for new ones? You were a pratik, a regular. You could sneak out to meet your boy-crush in the Champs-de-Mars for ice cream or a cheese steak at Jerry’s.
Now it’s cold and gloomy in downtown Port-au-Prince. Even nostalgia will not bring someone there. There is nothing to be nostalgic about. We lost our north. We don’t recognize these streets anymore.
But I got nostalgic today. I always get nostalgic when it starts to be cold in New York. The islander in me dies and wishes for her hot unforgiving streets. The kid I was didn’t think much of Port-au-Prince but the adult that I am now looks back fondly at all these memories and regrets not having cherished them.
I think lots of Haitians have lost their sense of patriotic duty and spirit (since we have almost lost all our role models). I am not talking the Hitler kind but I truly believe that a country without these two is doomed for failure. People make a country. The people in power were raised by us. The ones that abused us come from our belly and the ones that will build also come from our belly. We need before all to raise better children. We need to stop telling our kids that the country is worthless. Do this and then we can have, not desperately hope for, a better country.
HAITI IS NOT AND WILL NEVER BE WORTHLESS. Take this poorest-of-the-world-list-making people!
PS. I really didn’t mean for it to feel like a speech a la Martin Luther King but it just happened 🙂