I was at work on January 12, 2010 when a dear friend of mine sent me a text message urging me to check the news on the internet about Haiti because a 7.0 magnitude earthquake strokes the first black republic. I did not understand the gravity of the situation until I went back to my apartment and turn on the TV, the first image that came up was the national palace collapse which when I was growing up I lived a few minutes away from, and I could see it if I stand on top my roof two stories building. I broke down and cried; later on I have learned that more than a quarter of a million of my brothers and sisters lost their live in this tragedy that will stay engrave the memory of my generation until the rest of their existence as the darkest and longest day in the Haitian history.
January 12, 2011 I am again at work checking the news about my beloved country, my heart sink because I can still feel the pain and it is still hurting my soul and the million of my compatriot who share this awful experience. The rubbles are still on the streets of Port-au-Prince; more than one million of my people are homeless, many of little brothers and sisters can’t go back to school because the schools building have never been rebuilt one year after the earthquake. Life in Haiti is like a malediction succeeding one other; not yet even started to recover a cholera outbreak is swiping across my nation who is still on his knees, with no prospect of a ray of light toward the future.
I remember a few months after the earthquake, the images were still vividly displaying in my mind. I went to a Wal-Mart to purchase a magazine dedicated to the earthquake the cashier told me that this tragedy has occurred because Haitian people have sold their soul to the devil; I responded with a kind smile, I am Haitian! I took my magazine and left. In the same period I went to a fund raising at Fox Valley Technical College a lady who represented an organization name Friends of Haiti located in the Green Bay area in the state of Wisconsin started denigrating my people and my country just for the sole purpose of raising money for her organization. My fellow Haitian brothers and sister who were present at the event were very upset, but they bite their tongues and did not say anything. My biggest lesson in these two stories as Haitian, I am responsible for not doing a better job to portray and promote my country and my people more selfishly and more aggressively in a positive manner.
Most of the time when the news media is drawing a picture of my people and my country they only focus on the extreme poverty as the only dominating actuality of this great nation. I must tell you as native of Haiti my people are the greatest race of human being on earth in my eyes. I saw them fall over and over, but they still keep their prides and dignities intact, they still have their spirits high, they have the desire to live against all add. They live with nothing and they make life with of nothing, but their courageous attitude and their resilience to survive. My people have unity that cannot be seen with eyes, but only inside of the core belief and the tradition that lay beyond explanation without any sort of propaganda.
I am Haitian! Who are you?