Monday, August 7, 2023

Haiti and Hunger, Why Haiti?

 Why Haiti? Why Hunger? Why Indeed?

What?  Why? Huh? 

After several years trying to find a magic bullet to somehow solve the problems of subsistence farmers in rural Haiti, and trying to understand my own motivations, I came across Alexander McCall Smith's narrator's conclusion.  Mma. Precious Ramotswe, in Morality for Beautiful Girls.   Like Precious, Ramotswe, I felt could not refuse to help persons in need.  

And yes, although Haiti is not (exactly) Africa, it is safe to extrapolate, with Precious R., "Not that you could do everything.  Africa was full of people in need of help and there had to be a limit."  Haiti has 8 million hungry people (not counting city-dwellers, who manage to eat every day). 

So, for myself, in Haiti, I set the limit: just one hillside, just one small mountain, that's all. 

So, it happened to be my mazel (luck) to arrive up in Mon Bouton, some 3500 feet above the plain of Leogane. Because of a cup of coffee. (But that's another story.)

Back to basics. Food. Agriculture? First, let’s give you banana fronds…oh damn, no, let Edwige Danticat give you banana fronds—, banane, thickets of pwa nwa, black bean plants taking over because, of course, you cannot EAT flowers, and if you are Haitian, if you are Madame Kawolis, why, you must  plant every possible square inch with a food crop…

If you are a  blan, a foreigner, like myself, why, in your home country you glory in the green , which is of course everywhere, everywhere, and climbing. Growing.  


Earth rich.

Earth rich and rotten.