Friday, December 17, 2010

Approaching One Year

Normally when I write my blog entries I don't take a lot of time to think about what I am writing, I just write whatever I'm feeling at that time. This entry for whatever reason was different. I must have had at least 10 drafts that I deleted. Heres the one I settled on.

The one year anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti is less than one month away. I realized this the other day during a meeting at work and since then I have been trying to figure out what I am going to do to acknowledge the day.

I still have no idea. Dream scenario is that I would be back in Haiti at the temporary Cathedral in Port au Prince listening to members of the parish sing beautiful hymns in French and Creole. I would spend the day with the people that I was with immediately after the earthquake, just hanging out at the seminary. But since thats really not possible I've got to figure out something else to do on the 12th.

Do I even want to do anything? Do I just want to ignore the day and keep busy? Not gonna lie the thought has crossed my mind a few times, but I feel like, if I ignored it, in some weird way I would be hurting all those who lost their lives that days. Hurting those who lost family members and homes and schools and hospitals. Hurting those that are still living in tents and struggling each day to put the pieces of the lives the once had back together. So I have to do something to acknowledge the 12th. I think we all have to do something out of respect and love for Haiti and its people.

But what to do? This is where I get lost in thought. Should I take a moment of silence? Spend the day listening to Haitian music? Make a special donation? Do I want to be alone? Is there a church somewhere that I could go to be with others who care about Haiti? I don't know.

Maybe you can help me. What would you do to remember the anniversary of the earthquake? What are you doing; something your own, with your family, church, diocese, whatever? What do you recommend?

I am struggling with this and your thoughts and suggestions would be helpful. It would also be encouraging to know that other people will be acknowledging the day in their own ways too.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Taking Action


I’ve been pretty quite lately just because when I think about all that is happening in Haiti, I’m speechless.

What can you say as the Cholera Outbreak continues to worsen, with more people dying and getting sick? What can you say as the blame game just seems to continue over where the Cholera came from, leading to protests throughout the country?

What can you say as violence wreaks havoc across the Haiti because of politics and reports of flawed elections? When candidates seem only to fuel the fire and not calm it? When you can understand why people, who have been living in camps for almost a year are fighting for a chance for their voice to be heard; while there actions may be wrong their reasons are understandable?

What can you say when you read reports of mothers picking up their children and fleeing tent camps because of tear gas being thrown by the UN to stop protesters. What can you say when people have been living in camps for 11 months, surviving extreme heat and intense storms?

I can’t say anything about any of this – I’m speechless; overwhelmed with sadness and frustration.

But just because I am in shock and frustrated does not mean that I can’t continue to act on Haiti’s behalf. It does not mean that all of us cannot continue to act on Haiti’s behalf.

Last Spring when I struggled with not being in Haiti and feeling useless, my aunt suggested I make a calendar of Haitian art to raise money for rebuilding. So that’s what I did and it’s for sale now. It’s not a lot but it is a small action I could take to continue to work on behalf of my friends in Haiti.

The art in the calendar really is beautiful and includes some Haitian proverbs. I also liked the idea of the project because it is something that shows Haiti’s beauty, strength and hope in spite of the problems they may be experiencing.

It is available at http://www.lulu.com/ and search Haitian Art 2011. The Calendars are being sold for $22 with the proceeds going to the Episcopal Church’s Appeal to raise money for the rebuilding of the Cathedral in Port au Prince and the schools that were on its property.

Be sure to also take advantage of the various holiday sales the website is offering. If you enter the coupon code FLURRY you can save 25% on your purchase. This only affects the amount of money going to the publisher and not the money going to Haiti; so feel free to save away.

I feel awkward promoting my project like some cheap salesman but I just think at times when things seem so bad we don’t know what to say, we can still take action to help our friends, so that’s what I’m doing and I hope you will too.