Monday, April 12, 2010

See What I Saw

I wish I had the words to describe to you the Haiti I loved before the world saw. I wish the photographs that play through my mind would replace the ones that play through yours.

It kills me that the name Haiti will forever bring the memory of pain, devastation and death to the rest of the world. Once upon a time Haiti was so much more. Yes, even before the earthquake, Haiti held tears of the starving and the sweat of a body fighting to survive but she offered a spirit of joy and survival that is rare in the face of such pain. A spirit that is an honor to witness. A way of living that far too few will ever grasp.

I had a plan for this post. I've been working on it for a while but when I sat down it didn't go exactly as planned. I guess I wasn't as ready as I thought I was.I wanted to find some particularly recognizable photos that have been played on the news and to compare them with some of the photos that I myself have taken over the course of my time in Haiti. I started but I didn't get very far.

I got through exactly 7 photos before I couldn't take it anymore. I still can't look at it as anything more than an awful nightmare. Things like this happen in the plots of horror movies written by sick people, not in real life. I still can not believe that it's true. How can I still be in this fog of denial? How can it still hurt so bad in those brief seconds that the fog lifts into reality? How can I understand so deeply and not at all?

I wanted to post photos to show you, as best as I can, Haiti through my eyes. I don't have to parade in front of you the images that you have already seen, I don't need to disrespect, degrade and dishonor the Haitian people to do that. As I looked through the few photos that I did I became so angry my hands shook. How could someone have stood there and shoved a camera into a dump truck full of someones loved ones and took photo after photo of their mangled bodies. How could the news stations have no problems showing those faces as clear as day? Had something like that happened in a developed country there would have been outrage at the disregard for dignity. I guess, when it's "just those poor people over it Haiti" it doesn't matter. People forget that these were husbands, wives, friends and children. It breaks my heart that in order for people to finally care they had to be shocked to that extent.

How I wish that the only Haiti the world knew was this one...


Before January 12th there were babies who looked like this...

And faces like these ones, that captured my heart...


Before January 12th there was a market full of vendors, stories and old men playing dominoes...


Before January 12th there were homes, empty of material goods, but filled with laughter and love... Before January 12th there were churches and courtyards full of songs and praise...

Today, on April 12th, there is a little more pain, and a lot more tears. There are far fewer buildings and many more orphans. There is less and there is more. There is less joy but there is more hope. There are less church buildings but there are more songs of praise!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well said and well done - you've captured my heart and mind.

Jeannette said...

Thank you for sharing your love... you were ready enough to get tipped over and poured out and ready to be refilled by Him... Real readiness...seems you have that.