Sunday, January 31, 2010


The single story

It's a bit long but it is enthralling. So take your time to listen and digest what she is saying. I think it is so apt especially with the way so many of us spout stuff about Haiti oblivious to the fact that a coin is many sided. That is the danger of the single story

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Haiti again

I feel so helpless and heartsick watching these images of post earthquake Haiti.I wish I could do more than text "Help" to Digicel's 5151 and go beyond involving myself with organising supplies for the dispossessed. I wish I had the means to be on the ground in Haiti even though I suspect the scale of the disaster would further overwhelm me. I want to help to pull people from the rubble. I want to hold a terrified child and tell him/her everything will be okay and make them believe it. I want to mourn with the people who have lost loved ones and so much more.

Instead, I am here pondering how life could be so unbelievably harsh. How for many living is an art as they struggle daily to beat enormous odds. It sobers me that that even though I am no better than the displaced my house is intact and my loved ones are safe. I can't make sense of why Mother Nature is battering Haiti like this and maybe there is no rhyme or reason. Maybe it just is.

Lately though, I am becoming turned off by CNN's coverage which is becoming too sensationalist for my taste. While it's a given that networks thrive on ratings and disasters are guaranteed to spike them it's a bit much. I surely don't need to see the same scenes being played over and over again and the gratuituous back patting. Enough already!

I hope that sooner rather than later we will see a semblance of a distribution sytem that will get aid to the suffering people. Until that is addressed desperate people will take matters into their own hands.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Haiti I'm sorry

As I type this I am wondering how much more Haiti can take. From being the richest colony in the world Haiti has degenerated to being the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. We look down our noses at Haiti preferring to see them as nothing more than those evil voodoo worshippers. We choose not to remember or don't know that once upon a time Haitians dared to dream of self rule and in the process carried out a successful slave revolt. Many of us don't even know that when Haiti gained her independence the only other Western country to be independent was the USA. Do we even know that Haiti became the first black republic following the slave revolt?. That was years ago and many of us remain ignorant to the pressures exerted on the young nation by its former rulers- pressures that contributed to the Haiti we know today.

The Haiti of despair as portrayed by the boat people who risk their lives in search of a better day.. The Haiti that takes an almost yearly pounding from hurricanes. The Haiti of political unrest and coups and counter coups. The Haiti where soil erosion has left the hills bare. And now an earthquake of 7.0 magnitude has come to further crush the depressed people. I really don't know what else to say since sorry seems so inadequate but I really am sorry. I know there is much to be said about the strength of the human spirit so I'm really hoping that the people can find some inner strength to deal with this disaster. Meantime, let's all do our bit to help our Caribbean brothers and sisters.

Don't give up Haiti.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Dear Prime Minister

I've finally built up the courage to send you a few lines. You see Prime Minister, I like your story- the one of being in the political wilderness until 1994 when you got a seat in parliament. I admired your fierceness and tenacity that toppled two Attorney Generals in the persons of PR Campbell and Carlisle Dougan. Yes Prime Minister, you were the man, the vibrant Opposition leader who kept the government on its toes.

I wasn't here in 2001 when your government came into office but they tell me the streets of Kingstown were jubilant. One person related that he was in awe at the way you had the crowd eating out of your hands at the victory rally. Yes Prime Minister, you were really the man. Later on, I was at the GHS compound when you attended a function put on by the school and witnessed the rousing reception you got from the student body. Prime Minister,I thought based on the reaction that you had this thing locked down for a good while.

However, by 2005 the cracks were showing. Your party won the elections but it was clear its popularity was slipping. Now,if we are to judge by the referendum then your days as Prime Minister seem to be numbered. So Prime Minister, I am wondering how a man who came into office with such public goodwill has lost his appeal so fast. Sir, many before me have identified many things varying from arrogance, victimisation and the fallout from the rape charges brought against you. And that may very well be so but even though I am no fan of politics I realise that governments get judged on the state of the roads, hospitals, bread and butter issues and corruption charges which are either perceived or real. So I figure a man of your shrewdness would know this too and make sure you fly as straight as possible.

I am not sure if you really listening but people have serious issues with the roads especially the Leeward road. As a matter of fact I remember you taking the Ministry of Works to task for failing to fix some roads but it's like all your words falling on deaf ears. Prime Minister, the NDP knew that the "gouti tracks" that people laughed at meant the world to the persons who walked on them. So ,if I could borrow a line from you it's not getting the small things right that is making you lose your appeal. Don't get me wrong, the resource centres, new schools etc are fine but at the end of the day if the people are jobless then discontent will grow.

I am going to end now but before I do the increased security detail around you seems synonymous with your distance from us. It seems a bit excessive and even though times have changed you could go easy on the security. I suppose I should really be offering you some more solutions but I am wondering if it's not too late for you to make a turn around because PM the mood out here has really changed. Anyway, I figure some of the tenacity has to be still there so I am watching to see how you make your moves as elections near. Over to you Prime Minister.

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