July 26, 2008
…I just got back from The Hayti Heritage Center. They have an exhibit on Haiti by Thomas Plaut, “Strength, Spirit & Dignity: Portraits of Haiti.” It’s a small exhibit. The portraits were mostly of women and children. One portrait really caught my attention. It was a picture of a little boy named Ovensen and the caption said that he “died in June 2006.” I was thinking that he may have died from a disease that is probably treatable here in the U.S. or in some other more advanced part of the world. I didn’t know this boys particular story. My mind was just drifting and trying to think about what may have happened…
I can never wrap my mind over stuff like that and not just about access to medicine but in terms of access to food. There was a report that the economic situation like the rising food prices that we’ve been feeling here in the U.S., has also been affecting people all over the world. In some parts of Haiti, people were eating “dirt cookies” in order to survive. These are “cookies” made of dirt, salt and vegetable shortenings. The thought of that just stops’ me, especially when I think of all that we have available here, even in-terms of what we throw out.
The exhibit was not presenting these difficult situations but rather celebrating the Haitian people’s “strength, spirit & dignity.”
About the exhibit:
“In Haiti, [Dr. Thomas] Plaut worked with a medical team of physicians, nurses and volunteers that traveled from Asheville, treating 1,035 children in five days of clinics organized by Haitian counterparts in three coastal and two mountain communities. In between measuring kids, heights and weights, he photographed the clinics and the communities that hosted them”
St. Joseph’s Historic Foundation, Inc.
So, as we approach our tutor trainings, I’m reminded of the spirit of people who volunteer and do what they can to impact the lives of other people. You do make a difference!
I’m also reminded of the spirit of the people we serve, who show tremendous “strength, courage and dignity” in the face of their adversity. You’re an inspiration!