Friday, 30 September 2011
Some images and thoughts from Haiti
Alfredo visited the north of Haiti, where they didn't receive much damage from the earthquake but received all the people escaping the devistation. He travelled by bus from the Dominican Republic and crossing the border was a huge difference... DR was clean, organised streets, electricity, shops and businesses... cross the border and everything is dirty and dusty, there are no organised steeets and just the one main road that is full of potholes.
The rubbish impacted Alfredo, everywhere is dirty. There is no rubbish collection and no sewers, everything ends up in a canal on the edge of the street (makes me think of London 100yrs ago!)
The people don't have much, but they are resourceful. everywhere there are little street sellers selling the little they can - petrol by litres, biscuits, handicrafts, cooked food.
Alfredo travelled in a pick-up with 20 people and 5 sacks of materials. The only nice cars are owned bu the very rich or the NGOs and missions working there.
The Ecuadorian army were working near where they visited. They have been working with the UN, helping police the area.
The OMS mission compound where they stayed was beautiful, an oasis in the middle of a desert. green and well-kept, it shows what can be achieved. They employ lots of people to look after the guesthouse and grounds, trying to help as many people as possible with work.
The community has a water system that was built years ago (maybe upto 50 years ago!). Water does get to the community, but there isn't enough and isn't clean and only a few connections receive water, the peoplel have to go and collect water still.
no one has latrines or bathrooms. This explains why Cholera has spread so quickly and is so difficult to stop.
The families live in little groups, with the grandparents with the house at the front and children and grandchildren have the houses behind in the 'garden'. There are no organised streets, just groups of fmaily houses with little trails leading to each. Designing a water system will be difficult!
the Haitian women cook amazing food... Alfredo put on weight while there!
As in all places, despite the poverty there are rich people. They live in luxury houses with high walls and security. The nice restaurants are on the seafront (so the diners can look out to sea and not at the poverty while they eat). The top hotel is on a hill and built like a fort.
NGOs and Missions and Foreign governments are still treating Haiti as though they are in need of relief, giving them everything for free and doing everything for them. Haiti needs recovery and development now, help the Haitians think, plan and build their own water systems and letrines and schools. Help them develop the soil and grow food, build new houses and leave the tented camps.
But Haiti was in a bad way before the earthquake... Haitians need a transformation of the mind before the country can change.
Alfredo felt spiritual oppression while he was in Haiti. Vudoo offerings can be seen everywhere and the cemermonious drumming can be heard in the mornings. The community they visited is a few miles from one of the main vudoo religious sites.
Vudoo has the Haitians trapped. It is the main religion and relies on people believing in curses and pacifying the gods. The saying goes that Haiti sold its soul to the devil to get inderpendence from France and are now a cursed nation.
Haiti needs Jesus and the freeing spirit of the Holy Spirit. The church is growing, the key is that Jesus isn't added to the vudoo collection of saints and gods but belief in Jesus breaks the chains of the Vudoo.
Keep Haiti in your prayers.