The official name of Haiti is the Republic of Haiti. It’s a group of islands in the Caribbean. There live around 10 million people, mostly offspring of African slaves.The original habitants of these islands where the Taino people. Most of them died because of hard labour and diseases from the european colonizer. They where replaced by Africans, bought/captured as slaves.
Haiti was the first country that became independed from it’s europese colonizer and freed itself from slavery. They have a rural government and are 1 of the poorest countries in the world. The Spanish and French took their catholic faith with them, the African slaves brought in their animism and these 2 mixed with a little of the religion of the Taino created voodoo. (You know that column on the right of wikipages? The dutch wiki also gives religion, apparently this is important for us dutchies)
Nature wise Haiti has not much to offer. Most forrest is chopped to be replaced by farmland. The variety of animals is small. More global information can be found on wikipedia. As always, the pictures above are not made by me, but found on the internet. I know I should give credit to each photographer, but I use pinterest as my source and it really is too much trouble for me.
I cooked a delicious meal, really this meat is a keeper. It’s pork, first cooked and then roasted. The recipe is found here. I forgot to take a picture myself so I used a pic from the recipe. I combined it with this rice and bean dish. Simple, but yummy.
I am reading this book. As far as I can find it’s not translated to english. Translation of the title would be: Haiti a disaster for journalists. It’s written by Hans Jaap Melissen, who is a dutch journalist/reporter. Hans had been several times in Haiti and came again to cover the earthquake in 2010. It’s a very interesting story that gives some insight in how journalism works, as well in the dilemmas a reporter faces (practical and ethical) and how the geo’s use the media. It also gives some insight in how news is covered for dutch media and reading that I realized there is a returning script for natural disasters.
The book is divided in 3 parts. Part 1 coveres the first 2 weeks after the earthquake. It tells about the ratrace journalists have to get the best, most beautiful, most dramatic story. There are difficulties with electricity and a few aftershocks. Hans is struggling with his assignment to cover the worst stories, what is asked from him is not what he sees in Haiti. Every new story has to be more horrible than the one before. The climax is a money raise show held in the Netherlands. In part 1 we are introduced to Joe, a local Haitian who speaks english and works as a translator for Hans. Joe has lost his family and home, but keeps working and smiling. Life has been tough for him before.
After 2 weeks the attention of the media for Haiti is slowing down and this is part 2 of the book. Most journalists have left the country, but Hans isn’t ready to leave yet. The amounts of death according to the government are much higher than what he sees around him and he starts an investigation to this. While Joe is helping him with his investigation we see how Hans is struggling with some moral dilemmas around the relationship of the 2 men. Should he tell Joe about this man he met who came to save pets while Joes family still is under a destroyed building? Hans loves Haiti, this gives him the willpower to do this investigation, but it also makes him less objective and he starts to feel the chaos that is around him. He goes back home without finishing the investigation.
Part 3 of the story brings Hans back to Haiti a few weeks later. He finishes the investigation, but the response to his story is low. He leaves Haiti a few times to work in other places, but keeps coming back. This part learns us about how slow help money can be and how several organisations don’t work well together. Rebuilding Haiti is a problem (and as far as I know this still is a problem 16 years later)
The history of Haiti is interesting enough to stay 2 more weeks here. I hope to watch this documentary about voodoo soon, so far I haven’t found time and then there is the rebellion of the slaves and a horrible dictator. But the challenge is moving to India.