“Nan pwem lapriyè ki pa gen amen.”
[There is no prayer without its amen.]
Amidst the uplifting roar of laughter and immense smiles I’ve found myself stunned by worlds I had only met through news broadcasts and columns. Jamaica, Haiti, Grand Cayman. In 6 days time I didn’t even scratch the surface of the history and current conditions of three places thriving only in darkness and surviving solely on faith. It is remarkable how these deplorable and heartbreaking territories are surrounded by beauty yet buried in misery. The poverty level is as sickening as the near non-existent healthcare services they are provided in Jamaica. With 78% of their population representing the masses and 18% barely making it in middle class as well, that leaves just 4% upper class individuals (most of which are celebrities/people who earned money in the USA and migrated to Jamaica soon after).
WOULD YOU BE ABLE TO SURVIVE ON $50/MONTH???
See, I made an incredible friend. Her name was Tracy Davis – a beautiful coincidence. Tracy gave me a tour of the island and fed me an endless array of facts that both made me smile and destroyed me on emotional planes I was unaware I had. Like most people who have witnessed with their own eyes the way our distant brothers and sisters have to live, I immediately realized how displaced our own values are in America. I mean I already knew. Look at reality television. But these people don’t even know who Brad Pitt is or about franchises like Twilight, Hunger Games, Harry Potter, and so on.
COULD YOU IMAGINE A LIFE OF MISERY WITH NO FORM OF ESCAPE???
No. I don’t mean that break up you just went through or the fact that your phone MIGHT be off next month because you can’t make the bill. I mean, when all you know is the sorrow that surrounds you. Nearly every building you see is falling apart, that which encircles those same structures is unkept, the children are unhealthy because healthcare is so high 96% of the population cannot afford it. Imagine. Imagine for one moment. Your child is in your arms with the most terrible fever, the most debilitating cough, tremors, all of it. And you can’t do a damn thing about it.
Now amplify that hopelessness. And you have Haiti.
I WONDERED, “WHY CAN’T WE ALL LIVE LIKE AMERICANS?”
Not even the vast and endless mountains can hide the truth that hangs over the heads of Haitians. In my time there I witnessed several rowboats trudging across the sea in search of food for the fast falling night. It is truly as if the governmental figures of these three places have lost sight of the overall solution: breathe life into the middle class and watch them flourish once more.
I refuse to believe this.
I refuse to believe that this way of life has to continue…in 2014.
People across the globe have been making positive strides to change living conditions for Haitians and Jamaicans for a while. Below are links for you to learn more about our distant brothers and sister, and get involved as well.
Let’s make the world beautiful.
LINKS TO HELP HAITI AND JAMAICA