Today I read these words,
"Fear does not prevent death. It prevents life." (Naguib Mahfouz)I don't know why such simple words (obvious words?) spoke (screamed?) so loudly to my heart and soul, but they did.
I have been afraid of a handful of things the last couple of months. Among other stuff, there has been fear of my fast-approaching final test, and fear over our kids and the various things going on in their lives. Lately, much (like way too much) fear energy has been expended on this dang illness in Haiti. I have been holding my breath for weeks hoping and praying that my little ones and the brand new babies at Heartline and the momma on bed rest would somehow be spared.
When my kids get ill here, there is so much condemnation spinning in my head. I know it is meant to discourage me. The messages and accusations say, "If you didn't bring them here, they wouldn't have this." My rational side knows that car crashes and illness and freak accidents happen to people that never leave the safest house in the safest city in the safest place in the world.
Troy did enough counseling when we were in the USA to get super duper wicked smart. I have seen him forget some of what he learned on certain days, so don't hear me elevating him to the very highest pinnacle. He is like three steps down from the highest spot. Recently when I was angry at a situation I asked him if he was upset by someone's unkind and disappointing response to him, he said, "I am only responsible for my actions, my words and my responses. She is responsible for hers, and I cannot change that and I shouldn't try."
Maybe my issue is that I am wanting to control more than just me. By holding onto my fear so tightly, I am taking false control. That would explain the exhaustion of late.
Fear prevents life.
Here is a simple reminder for me (mainly me) and you - if you were looking for a reminder that is: We don't have control over anything but our own responses to the things, situations, people, and stressors around us.
Sometimes we are going to want to give up.
(Photo taken by Esther Havens of our friend, Marjorie, who has not given up.)
Haiti peasants rally against industrial agriculture, especially Monsanto, and in favor of peasant agriculture
samedi 7 juin 2014
(Read the original article here)
P-au-P, 6 juin 2014 [AlterPresse] --- Les paysans ont affiché leur ferme détermination à lutter contre l’agriculture industrielle et en faveur de l’agriculture paysanne lors d’une série d’activités organisées les 4 et 5 juin par le Mouvement paysan Papaye (Mpp), dans la localité du même nom près de Hinche, (128 kilomètres à l’est de la capitale).
Réalisées à l’occasion de la journée internationale de l’environnement (5 juin), les activités se sont déroulées sous le thème « Tè, semans natif natal, anviwonman se chemin lavi » (en français : « Terres, semences natives, environnement : tel est le chemin de la vie »).
L’idée pour le Mpp, qui a reçu plusieurs dizaines d’invités, était de sensibiliser la communauté paysanne sur les mécanismes à mettre en place pour la sauvegarde de la production nationale face aux assauts de grandes compagnies transnationales, plus intéressées, selon l’organisation, à détruire la planète.
« Aba Monsanto, non aux semences hybrides, vive l’agriculture paysanne, vive l’agro-écologie, non à la production de l’agrocarburant, vive une Haïti souveraine » sont quelques-uns des slogans qui ont été inscrits sur des pancartes dans le cadre d’un sketch.
Les organisateurs ont voulu faire part des actions que les organisations paysannes comptent mettre en œuvre pour libérer le pays des produits de consommation importés souvent dangereux pour la santé, tels les cubes de bouillon de poulet ou encore les semences hybrides.
Ils ont profité pour critiquer les grandes organisations internationales comme le Fonds monétaire internationale (Fmi), la Banque Mondiale, la Mission des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation d’Haïti (Minustha) et l’Organisation mondiale du commerce (Omc).
Les bienfaits de l’agriculture paysanne ont été soulignés à travers une foire axée sur la biodiversité, où ont été exposées des plantules, des plantes médicinales, des semences locales. L’agriculture paysanne est considérée comme le véritable moteur pour sauver l’environnement.
Le leader du Mpp, Chavannes Jean Baptiste, a indiqué que l’initiative de son organisation s’insère dans une campagne de la Via Campesina, un mouvement paysan international qui regroupe près de 185 organisations dans près de 80 pays.
Trois organisations locales sont membres de la plateforme Via Campesina : le Mpp, , l’organisation « Tèt kole ti peyizan » (Union des petits paysans) et le Mouvement paysan nationale du congrès de Papaye (Mpnkp).
Des engagements pour l’avenir
Les trois organisations ont signé une déclaration conjointe dans laquelle elles s’engagent à « travailler ensemble pour créer plus d’unité entre les organisations paysannes du pays, ainsi que toutes les organisations qui veulent la souveraineté alimentaire, pour défendre les terres qui se trouvent entre les mains des paysans et lutter en faveur d’une réforme agraire intégrale le plus vite possible ».
« Les semences ne doivent pas être des marchandises, parce que les semences portent les germes de la vie. La vie n’est pas à vendre », lit-on dans cette déclaration conjointe.
Elles demandent au gouvernement haïtien, dirigé par Laurent Salvador Lamothe, « de stopper tout projet visant l’accaparement des terres du pays, d’arrêter de faire de la démagogie avec l’environnement du pays (...), d’arrêter de se moquer de la production agricole et la protection de l’environnement, alors que le budget de ces secteurs diminue ».
Elles exigent que l’Etat haïtien mette 20% des ressources dans la production agricole familiale agro-écologique prenne des dispositions pour la protection de l’environnement. [jep kft gp apr 07/06/2014 21:00]
My friend, G., wrote about a recent airplane ride. I loved this story.
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When he started back in on non-profits and how they were all money grubbing thieves, I said, You know, I run a group like a non-profit, and we give back 100 percent of what we raise. No overhead. We all work for free.He raised his eyebrow and didn’t respond for a minute.He looked out the airplane window. He was remembering something. His tirade stopped. His voice changed a little.Then he turned back and said, “I haven’t given a penny away for fifteen years. I used to. Every Christmas I used to buy ten turkeys and deliver them to the homeless shelter myself. But I don’t do that anymore. I don’t give anything away anymore.”What changed? I said.He looked out the window again and I thought- HERE we go. HERE we go- here comes the real stuff. Here politics die and the person behind them introduces himself.Scruffy angry man said, “When my daughter was little, we left a candle burning in our house and the whole house burned down. With all of our things. We had nothing. We lived in our car for seven months with our daughter and no one reached out to help us. Not our neighbors, not our families, friends. Not even our church. No one.”Read the post in its entirety HERE.
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The happenings in Haiti are somewhat bleak feeling this week.
Chikungunya is an utter jerk and we flip in and out of fighting it with courage and feeling like it may never end. It is not linear in any way. Starting and finishing is how we like our illnesses, but this seems to be start, finish, start again. Two steps forward, one step back. It is frustrating to say the least.
Our Noah currently has a worse case of it than his little sisters had earlier in the week. He loves to win, but maybe not at this competition.His fever beats the others, he cannot move, he has been throwing up. It is hard to throw up without moving, but he is even perfecting this. Some (not all) others that had it a week or more ago are facing night fevers and restlessness and sore joints. As if Haiti doesn't make you feel old and tired enough already.
Yesterday Beth asked for a show of hands of those women that had already had "the fever". 80% of the women gathered raised their hands. Maybe Port au Prince will be saturated and finished with (the first finish of)this nonsense soon?
The Maternity Center had a rough Monday with a baby that aspirated meconium, but the rest of the week went by without huge dramas; we all really needed that.(For those that don't know, meconium is shit. Welcome to the world, you inhaled your own poop.Things can only improve from here.)
We have three women due and overdue. We are all hanging out nearby in anticipation of their labors/deliveries.
My niece, Whitney, is in Haiti. She is preparing for her MCAT and is studying when we are not at work at the Maternity Center. She is supposed to motivate me to study for my next test. That's sort of happening. I cannot even explain how fun it is to have her here.
Paige is coming to Haiti next week. There are a handful of folks that are super stressed out by her decision to come. She and I talked at length in Texas when I went to take my skills test (I passed!) and I assured her that she did not need to come to Haiti this summer.
Because this is her home, she was unwilling to to cancel and said it is important to her to come. Her boyfriend (Michael) is coming later in the month to do a five week volunteer job as a driver with Heartline Ministries. She so wants him to see her home and learn about her life here. They are starting to talk marriage and this visit is important to her heart. I don't want her sick of course and realize there is a decent chance she could be ill while she is here.
Thankfully she is second trimester and at a safe place in her pregnancy. I will be slathering her in bug spray and fumigating her room daily. The biggest danger with Chik V. is in very early pregnancy and right at delivery.
If you are one that is wrapped up in concern for Paige, I want to say - THANK YOU for loving her. At its core, your worry is kindness, I know that. Please use your concern to fuel your prayers. She wants to come.
This Mojo (granny)and Tito (grandpapa) will be doing Paige's prenatal care and enjoying the rare chance to get to spend a bunch of weeks with her and our future son-in-law.
(If you missed the news of our first grandbaby, you can go back to this post. It is a boy!)
Read more at:
Have you seen the Penelope skit on SNL? We are all a little bit Penelope at times. But I am more like her than you, sooooooo ... Read more about it here, my June post at A Life Overseas.
Today our niece comes to Haiti for ten days. We are giddy to have her to ourselves. For those that love adoption and a good reunion story, read about her here.
Chikungunya is probably a word you are incredibly tired of trying to pronounce and read. We are finding that it is a word that has meant a heaviness hanging over us all. Day after day new women and children are showing up in pain, with high fevers. We need to find some brightness in all the clouds this virus is bringing to our friends and families.
Come to our first meeting!
Resistance & the Lavalas Movement
What is Lavalas? Do people in Haiti support the current government? Who is involved in Haiti’s fight for democracy? Why do the world’s superpowers fear the people’s movement? Who is really in power in Haiti? What does activism look like in Haiti?
Saturday, June 7th2:00 - 4:00pmNiebyl Proctor Library6501 Telegraph AveOakland, CA
Future Topics include:The return to dictatorship; mass incarceration and political prisoners; sweatshops and privatization; the ongoing pillaging of Haiti’s resources; labor activism; COINTELPRO tactics in Haiti and the U.S.; racism; parallel struggles in Latin America; and many more!
For more see:
www.haitisolidarity.net and on FACEBOOK
While on Trip to Demand MINUSTAH’s Withdrawal: Senator Moïse Jean-Charles Meets with Haitian Refugees in Brazil
by Kim Ives (Haiti Liberte)
Sen. Moïse Jean-Charles held several meetings with disgruntled Haitian immigrants in Sao Paolo this week as part of a six-day visit to Brazil. On May 21, he will address both houses of the Parliament, and on May 22, the Sao Paolo City Council will recognize him as an honorary citizen of that city, the Western Hemisphere’s largest. Sen. Jean-Charles’ current visit to Brazil, like his two previous ones in 2013, is part of a campaign to push for the withdrawal of the 9,000-soldier UN Mission to Stabilize Haiti (MINUSTAH), which will mark its 10th anniversary on Jun. 1. Some 2,200 Brazilian troops make up MINUSTAH’s largest contingent, and Brazilian generals command the force.
Joining the senator on his visit to Brazil is Oxygène David, a leader of the new party Dessalines Coordination (KOD), which is one of eight groups in the Haitian Coordination for the Withdrawal of UN Troops from Haiti. The Haitian Coordination, whose April declaration Sen. Jean-Charles also signed, is planning events to denounce MINUSTAH’s 10th anniversary in Haiti. There will also be demonstrations against MINUSTAH in nations around the world including Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Guadeloupe, St. Lucia, Trinidad-Tobago, Uruguay, and the United States. A Haitian Senate resolution, drafted by Sen. Jean-Charles one year ago and passed unanimously, called for all UN troops to be out of Haiti by May 28, 2014. UN authorities have pointedly ignored the resolution and have fixed no deadline for their open-ended military occupation to leave Haiti. Every Monday morning, KOD holds a demonstration of about 50 people in front of the UN base at the Port-au-Prince airport calling for MINUSTAH to pack up and go. UN troops and Haitian police have been increasingly disturbed by and aggressive against the weekly action, threatening demonstrators with tear-gas and arrest. On May 18, Sen. Jean-Charles met with Haitians at the Church of the Immigrants in downtown Sao Paolo, about a block from a city-run emergency housing center which currently holds over 100 Haitian immigrants. On May 19, Sen. Jean-Charles, along with Oxygène David and a journalist from Haïti Liberté, returned to the “Auberge Emergenciel,” and later to a squatter-run commercial building, to hear the grievances of Haitian expatriates. “I make only 1000 reals (US$450) per month in a terribly hard job cleaning chemicals from barrels,” said a 27-year-old Haitian man at the housing center who would identify himself only as Hector. “We are given dangerous work and don’t make enough to send home money or even to live. We are virtually slaves here!” The Haitians at the center, managed by the mayor’s office, sleep in a giant fluorescent-lit hall on metal bunk beds and use communal bathrooms. The yard has lots of laundry hanging in it. There are an estimated 50,000 Haitians now living in Brazil, but only 20,000 are legal and have work papers. Almost all have come to Brazil over the past decade that Brazilian troops have been in Haiti. As in many countries, the Haitian immigrants work in menial jobs as construction workers, maids, or janitors, although many are trained as nurses, doctors, accountants, or engineers. “In talking with people, we’ve identified three main problems,” Sen. Jean-Charles said speaking later on May 19 at the Movement for Housing for All (MMPT), which has occupied a vacant commercial building in downtown Sao Paolo to provide shelter for homeless people, including dozens of Haitians. “There is the problem of sanitation, of education, and of salaries. Add to those, there may have been some human rights violations, for which Haitians need a lawyer. We are going to raise all these issues when we meet with local authorities to see what kind of relief our Haitian brothers and sisters can receive.” Meanwhile, Oxygène David pointed out to the Haitians that ending the UN occupation of Haiti is in their interests. “Every year, Brazil spends millions of reals to support soldiers who are repressing and killing our brothers and sisters in Haiti,” he said to Haitians at the housing center. “That money could be going to hospitals, schools, agriculture, and better jobs and housing for immigrants like you here in Brazil. So you have a double interest in seeing Brazilian soldiers leave Haiti. One, to end the repression of your fellow Haitians. Two, to allow more money to be available for jobs and services here.” The Brazilian committee sponsoring Sen. Jean-Charles’s trip to Brazil, “To Defend Haiti is to Defend Ourselves,” organized the meetings with Haitian immigrants as well as the trip to Brasilia to address both the Brazilian Senate and House of Deputies on May 21. Sen. Jean-Charles is also speaking to many radio and television stations in both Sao Paolo and Brasilia. On May 22, Sao Paolo’s City Council will name Sen. Jean-Charles as a “Citizen of Sao Paolo.” The ceremony, which will be open to the public, was initiated by Councilwoman Juliana Cardoso of the ruling Workers Party (PT) and State Deputy Adriano Diogo, also of the PT. “It is a very great honor in Brazil to receive this recognition,” said Barbara Corrales, the coordinator of the “To Defend Haiti is to Defend Ourselves” committee. Last December, Sen. Jean-Charles visited Brasil to attend the PT’s National Congress, in which he succeeded in convincing delegates to pass a resolution calling for the withdrawal of Brazilian troops from Haiti. In May 2013, the senator also visited several Brazilian cities to push for troop withdrawal. On Jun. 10, Sen. Jean-Charles will meet for the second time with Uruguayan President José Mujica in Montevideo. “I will ask him to respect the promise that he made to me during our meeting last November,” Sen. Jean-Charles told Haïti Liberté. “He said he was going to withdraw Uruguayan troops from Haiti. I want to find out how that is progressing.”
Uruguay has historically had about 1,100 troops in MINUSTAH, the second largest contingent after Brazil.
by the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti
International law scholars and practitioners from Europe and North America, many with United Nations (UN) connections, filed two amicus curiae briefs on May 15 in support of a federal class action lawsuit against the UN for bringing cholera to Haiti. The briefs demonstrate a consensus among scholars that the UN has an obligation to provide the cholera victims a hearing for their claims, and that its refusal to do so imperils the organization’s immunity. The amicus briefs buttress another brief filed May 15 by the cholera victims. It explains why immunity cannot shield the UN from having to respond to the victims’ suit. All three briefs respond to a March 2014 filing by the U.S. Government urging dismissal of the case on the grounds that the UN is immune from suit.
In one amicus brief, well-known international law scholars note that several international treaties, as well as the UN’s own General Assembly resolutions, legal opinions, and practices establish an obligation for the organization to compensate people harmed by UN operations – an obligation which has not been fulfilled in the cholera case. One of the signers of this brief, José Alvarez, professor of international law at New York University School of Law, noted that “the UN has committed itself at the highest levels to the promotion and fulfillment of the rule of law, but apparently sees no contradiction in promoting accountability — including legal accountability — in others while refusing to address how the national or international law applies to itself in this case." European legal experts point out in the second amicus brief that courts outside of the United States balance an international organization’s immunity protection with victims’ right of access to court. They describe how those courts have required that in return for immunity in court, international organizations must provide harmed individuals with a reasonable alternative procedure. Manfred Nowak, Professor of International Law and Human Rights at Vienna and Stanford University and former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, added that “the UN needs to understand that immunity cannot mean impunity. If it refuses to provide people alleging harm with a path to justice, courts will refuse to uphold its immunity.” The amicus briefs underscore the growing international consensus that the UN cannot be absolutely immune for its actions in Haiti. The international law authorities signing the briefs include current and former UN mandate holders such as Nico Schrijver and Krister Thelin. Last month, the New York City Bar Association sent a letter to the State Department expressing its concern that the U.S. Government should not support the UN’s violations of the law. The plaintiffs’ brief is the first opportunity that the cholera victims have had to tell the court why UN immunity does not apply in this case, which was filed in October 2013. The plaintiffs argue that the UN’s promises to provide an out-of-court procedure for the settlement of claims against it are a fundamental part of the treaties that grant it immunity, and that the organization cannot invoke its immunity under those treaties when it has failed to fulfill those promises.
Cholera continues to affect Haiti’s vulnerable population. The UN itself has warned that the disease may kill up to 2,000 more people in 2014. To date, the epidemic has killed more than 8,500 and sickened more than 700,000.
carelp posted a photo:
A droite du couple présidentiel, l'artiste Rodrigue Milien et le Père Antoine Occide Jean (Père Sicot). A gauche, le musicien Raoul Guillaume, la Ministre de la Culture, Mme Josette Darguste, et le Dr Didier Armand, représentant de Mimi Barthélémy.
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Vue partielle de l'assistance à la cérémonie de remise de décoratiion au Palais National
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Le Père Antoine Occide Jean (Père Sicot), Sociologue et Ethnologue, est décoré de l'Ordre National Honneur et Mérite au Grade de Grand Officier pour sa contribution au développement communautaire
carelp posted a photo:
Photo souvenir entre le récipiendaire et le Chef de l'Etat
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M. Raoul Guillaume, premier compositeur de chants de Noël et grand Mapou de la musique haïtienne, est décoré de l'Ordre National Honneur et Mérite au Grade de Chevalier pour sa constance dans le milieu musical.
carelp posted a photo:
Photo souvenir entre le Président de la République et le Maestro Raoul Guillaume
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D'importantes personnalités ont pris part à la cérémonie de remise de décoration
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L'initiative du Président de la République d'honorer des personnalités haïtiennes est saluée par l'assistance
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Une courte interprétation musicale rappelant les bons moments entre les deux artistes, sous le ragard jovial du Père Sicot
carelp posted a photo:
Photo souvenir. L'artiste Rodrigue Millien n'a pas caché sa joie et sa satisfaction d'être honoré par le Président de la République