Sunday, September 26, 2010



No one, and certainly not I, could add any words to Brother Langston's poetry.

He knew well our people in rural Haiti...

Sadly, there's little that's changed since Brother Langston's 6-month sojourn there, in the 1930's.

There is so much misery in the world,
So much poverty and pain,
So many who have no food
Nor shelter from the rain,
So many wandering friendless,
So many facing cold,
So many gnawing bitter bread
And growing old!

What can I do?
And you?
What can we do alone?
How short a way
The few spare crumbs
We have will go!
How short a reach
The hand stretched out
To those who know
No handshake anywhere.
How little help our love
When they themselves
No longer care.
How thin a blanket ours
For the withered body
Of despair!

Our community's needs and development are now supported by Facebook Causes Page: IF PIGS COULD FLY - HAITI! 

Thank you for reflecting on this post.  If you would like to help the community in the mountains of Haiti, please start here:


  1. Thank you so much for posting this. I have been following your blog for a while, but this is the first time I've commented. Thank you for sharing Haitian life through your blog.

  2. Langston's visual describes soooo many people, places & plights all over this world. I've been to many of them as a result of my military service. But, Haiti's in my line of sight & constantly on my mind. Just when it looked like there was no place to go but up BAM!!!! More of Mother Nature's wrath last week. Langston's poem is infinite. There will always be faraway places as he describes. We can't reach them. Haiti's just across the pond. I think there are many people like me who want to give small amounts, regularly but there are so many Haiti organizations & I personally don't know how to check their legitimacy. This problem for me grows larger when I see how few countries, including mine; USA, have lived up to their pledges. What has happened to the Clinton/Bush influence to collect $$$$? I have many questions & no source for answers! Who & which organizations are creditable? How can I begin to help get Haiti out of Langston's poem?

  3. Michele, it is very hard to know who will spend money well without also spending a lot of time researching it. There are now hundreds, perhaps thousands, of little projects gathering momentum in Haiti. Every one of them is struggling. Simple things, like getting supplies into the country, can take far more time, energy, and money than you could probably imagine.

    My suggestion is that you spend some time finding a group you feel an affinity with and do what you can to support them. Want to work with youth in the slums? Drilling water wells for rural communities? Fitting prostheses for amputees? Building a trade school and hospital at the epicenter?

    The big NGOs still have a role to play, solving the grand problems requires large, politically-connected organizations and a metric butt-load of money. Bill Clinton, to answer that question, is channeling money raised by his foundation to the kind of grass-roots initiatives I am talking about. See the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund web site for more on that. In his role as co-chair of the interim reconstruction commission he is also debt-collector-in-chief for the money pledged by other countries (including the United States) that has not yet been delivered. It is easy to get these two roles confused, they are different pools of money for different purposes.

  4. For the last 8 years since I first traveled to Haiti, I have been both impressed by and sickened by organizations that would seem to be legitiment charitable organizations.
    My advice is to find a small organization that is working in a rural area on a small scale. Making a difference in the lives of a few, rather than large organizations that waste not only their resources on administration, but their time by never going out to see what they have done.... or NOT done.
    Very little if any real aid ever travels far from Port au Prince, and yet the richness of Haiti is in the rural areas, where the real Haitians, not the social Elite, live their desperate, but full lives. They are the people who need the Hand Up.
    Just my opinion.

  5. Thank you, everyone. Please join our small organization, a Haitian and American collaborative venture, in rural mountain zone, Zoranje (hillsides of Mon Bouton, La Tournelle and Chevrin) - please see our website, and the causes page on Facebook,

    We are just such the small organization that Beetle describes! And, you can join us for some weeks in the summer, possibly spring, 2011. (To learn, not to teach...) There's info on the If Pigs Website.