Monday, August 23, 2010

USA? Wi, Papa!

Out of the blue. It's a Sunday and I scramble across rubble, gravel, broken glass. Goats watch me, guarding their stuff. I am together with one of our team, Kloteed, in upper Delmas (close to the “high rent” district and, er, upper, uppity Petionville...well it is uppity!).

A woman approaches us, I guess she is middle-aged. Nicely dressed (Sunday?) and literally well-heeled (closed shoes).

She crosses Delmas over by Delmas 49 and greets us. She tells Klo how much she appreciated people like me coming to her country. Of course, I turn and speak to her in Kreyol and, much taken aback, she then thanked me for even speaking her language, and then told says, directly to me, it was good for Haiti that so many Americans thought to come here. Simply, coming to her country and doing what we did, she says to me there on the street, encourages Haitian people and gives them hope.

Am I...shaking? Another small tremblman de te, startled by what I think I understand she is saying. Saying, Mesi anpil anpil, in the absence of any material contribution whatsoever, or effort on my part.

Mesi anpil, pou vizite nou nan peyi nou.

Thank you. "Thanks for coming to our country." No asking for nothing. Just thanking me.

Just for… coming to her country, for being there, and standing with, Haiti.



  1. Hi Randy,

    this is exactly my experience here in Haiti. Plenty of people which are always friendly and welcoming, if approached with the "we are here to learn not teach" attitude, the only one that should be applied here... but unfortunately is not.