Tuesday, February 9, 2010

from Amy Wilentz

I took a long walk in Croix des Bossales when I was down there after
the earthquake. It is virtually unchanged by the sekous, except that
landmark features like St. Joseph's church are pretty much down.
People still live in hot tiny tin shacks on the mud. They're still
half naked, the children. Everyone is way too thin; on the edge. Even
though everyone is busy no one has anything real to do: as usual here,
trying desperately to patch together a daily living of 25 cents or so.
It's dark even in bright daylight. The market, by the way, was in full
operation: that is, everyone was selling, no one buying, however. The
front market stalls were full beautiful heads of cabbage by the
hundred that were being thrown into the garbage slop that is the
curbside, because they were getting too old. Pigs were having a grand
time (the pigs have gotten fatter in the decade since I last walked
here) feeding on slop and wallowing in sewage -- almost made me turn
against griot, but....

Guys were walking away from the cockfight with their fighting birds in
their arms. Nothing had changed over the past decade except, as I
expected, there were small bands of threatening looking teenaged boys.
Did they have guns? Who knows. I assume. Were they drug dealers? --
almost without question. They did not look, however, as if they were
the bosses of themselves.


Who will rebuild Croix des Bossales? Aristide and Preval each tried
their little bit. Who will really do it? And must Haiti be entirely
rethought in order to change the miserable quality of life for these

Amy Wilentz
Los Angeles

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