A few weeks ago I wrote about the dismal condition of the roads in Haiti, particularly the rocky dirt road that is Haiti National Highway 3 connecting Pignon to Cap Haitien. Well, the other day I was pleasantly surprised to see dozens of dump trucks and road graters smoothing out sections of the road as they made improvements, albeit limited, to the rocky road. At breakfast that morning, I told Pastor Francois that I had seen dozens of trucks and noticed the road to the school was much more navigable. Pastor stated that he had seen the trucks as well but his response to the work was negative. While he acknowledged the improvement of the road, he was not pleased with the timing and reasoning behind the hasty improvements. You see, the President of Haiti, Michael Martelly, was due to drive from Port Au Prince to Cap Haitien to celebrate Carnival and the government in the Nord province felt it important to make the situation appear better than it actually is by making hasty improvements. While the money and material for the maintenance and betterment of the roads exists, the impetus to act for these Haitian politicians was not out of a desire to serve and help the people, rather, it was to pull the wool over the eyes of the President. In doing so, they make a mockery of the everyday suffering their own people face and protect their own interests in an obscene act of political theatre. Pastor stated that it would be better for the President to see things as they really are because he believes this president truly desires to help the people but is prevented from doing so by the established political factions which control the Haitian Congress. But sadly, this is the hard, historical truth about Haiti: much of its hardships are of its own making due to constant political instability and the exploitative nature of political leadership. One can only hope that new leaders, who care about their people and communities rise to positions of influence and change. Moreover, any improvement in the road will likely be washed away by the next rain storm. A further demonstration that road construction was undertaken in haste and without any strategic plan for sustainable improvements.
On a much more positive note, upon Pastor’s return from the United States construction began to level a large area in front of the orphanage house. As Sigi noted in her first post, the area outside the orphanage is an uneven, rocky area that is dangerous for the kids and we all believed that this was the most pressing need. With the gifts we have been given we are grateful for the opportunity to be a part of meeting this need. After the project is concluded, a large, flat, concrete surface where the kids can safely play and spend time will replace the hilly mountainside. This simple project will be huge improvement over what they have and will give them usable space to be kids. After a week of construction, the retaining wall is finished and we are waiting to backfill and level the area so that we can finish pouring the foundation on the north side and, finally, pour the concrete surface. We are eagerly awaiting its completion and will let you know how construction progresses! Check out the pictures to see the construction so far!
Until next time,