Saturday, February 4, 2012

A rant on Missionaries

I just posted this this morning on the Corbett list, a private English only Haiti list serve which is not Google searchable.....and I did so want google to search.....



Pardon me for a moment while I have a small eruption to relieve some of the pressure that is building down here under my tectonic plates.

I have been off list for many months now working here on the ground. Here on the ground we speak a combination of four primary languages... Spanish, Kreyole, French and English.. we add Italian accents and hand signals... and move our feet to meregue and kompa...

So we understand one another.

No one here is monolingual or monocultural

No one here is a cultural imperialist

No one here pities the poor

We are all just gettin along, Gracias a Dios,

But now I back amonst the do gooders who want to save us and I am really pissed off.

The press is all full of cries for vengence for Duvalier after a Haitian judge has decided the issue. Here in the DR the prisons are undergoing a transformation into a restorative justice model. I did a story on it .. google it. They are more forgiving than we are Stop with the calls for vengence. The Haitians are going to live in peace with one another and with both Duvalier and Aristide. It is done.Let peace prevail,

Now about all those begging medical missionaries. I had to stop going to the local Union Episcopal Church here for fear I would have to sit next to these BIZARRE christian missionary couples with their frightened clinging wives and many infant children who kept their eyes on the floor when I walked them into the english library.. And they had a HILUX truck.. that is $150,000 on the hoof here. And they were transporting medical supplies via HELICOPTERS .. here in the DR which has a very good public health system with hospitals and pharmacies in every town.

So in following new links to go onto all these web sites.. where they keep talking about
POOR Haiti. I am so sick of this contempt for the poor.

How about we get down on the floor and kiss their feet and ask them to teach us how they manage to live in such grace and dignity and joy despite their travails?

And as for the Irish fund raising house building gig.. Digicell.. I would suggest that Haiti is actually RICHER than Ireland right now, no? They have essentially NO foreign debt and immense pledges of aid so stop already with your arrogance

Ditto for all of those from outside the island who think that a concrete block house is better than a mud and wattle kai with a thatch roof. A concrete block house.. or a zinc house.. is an OVEN.. a mud and wattle kai with a thatched roof is brilliant architecture,

As for all these state of the art hospitals.. Dr Farmer et al,. Did you give no thought to the fact that you may be as disruptive to the spiritual healing system .. as . well.. say,.. importing subsidized rice? Have you ever had trainings for the Hougans?

Nope I bet not,. just the pill pushers and surgeons

if you really want to help

please send dentists

we need them all over the island

from Las Terrenas on

Until we all learn that Haitians and Domincans represent civilizations which are far older and wiser and richer than ours, we are never going to get anywhere.

And I believe that we need them more than they need us.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your idealism is also arrogant. I too live "on the ground" as you say.My entire family was killed by the Duvaliers. We are not asking for vengeance, but justice. How can justice be good enough for Guatemala, recently, Peru, Chile and other places, but in Haiti we are just supposed to swallow the dirty water whole. Your offhanded way of addressing this is insulting at best. As for the doctors, I know you want to be touchy feely and kumbaya but hougans can help heal the spirit but not bullet wounds or other painss that are urgent. Why can the West, if you will have justice and doctors etc,, but we have to resigned to idealist do gooders who want us to just pray to the lwas and forgive. You are naive at best.
Please keep your insulting idealism to yourself.

Anonymous said...

SOME OF THE WORST HOGWASH I HAVE EVER READ ON THE CORBETT LIST. WHY DON'T YOU BLANS, EVEN WELL MEANING ONES LIKE YOU, LEAVE US ALONE? YES, THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE MONOLINGUAL AND MONOCULTURAL. THE PEOPLE IN THE COUNTRYSIDE WHO ARE ALIENATED AND HAVE BEEN FOR CENTURIES JUST FOR THAT. TO DENY THIS IS TO DENY FUNDEMANTAL PROBLEMS, AT LEAST IN HAITI. YOU CLAIM OUR CIVILIZATION IS RICHER YET WE CAN'T HAVE DOCTORS OR SEEK TO BRING JUSTICE. YES THEY ARE CULTURAL AND OTHER IMPERIALISTS ON THE ISLAND, LIKE YOU FOR EXAMPLE. THEY HAVE BEEN TRYING TO SPEAK FOR US FOR YEARS, MAKING THEMSELVES OUR VENTRILOQUISTS. YOU DO NOT SPEAK FOR US. AT LEAST YOU SHOULD MAKE THIS CLEAR THAT THIS IS ONLY YOUR OPINION. WHO IS THIS WE, THE IDEALIST BLAN? AND YES I LIVE IN HISPANIOLA--HAITI--AND WORK IN THE SOCIAL SECTOR--SO YOU DON'T GET TO DIMISS ME.

Anonymous said...

Well written, we all need to rant sometimes, but rarely is the rant also educational and informative.

Babette said...

Generally I do not publish anonymous comments but thought I should make exceptions for these.