For those of you who don't live here, it may now seem that the earthquake is far removed, an event long past. Here, we see it every day not just in ruined buildings and in tents, but in such mundane things as driving around new piles of rubble in the street from a little more demolition done, perhaps with a hammer. It appears on faces and is a permanent fixture in the back of our minds. And there are still so many whose most basic needs are not met. Isaac finally blew down the tent that was still in our front yard, but the temporary buildings which are so much better than nothing at all are already beginning to wear. New construction appears regularly - I must remember to post some photos! - and the palace is finally coming down, but there's just so very much to do. It's moving along, it really is. You can see the progress. But the people... You can replace a building, but you can't replace people.
|in memory of a friend no longer with us|
construction project: monument in memory of the victims of the earthquake of January 12, 2010
Life was hard before; it is harder now. My life is easy; I have all I need. So many don't, and there is no easy solution. Tomorrow, however, is the first day of school here and another beginning, a new chance. The chalkboards may have been stolen. Students and teachers may not have the books they need, never mind the computers and science laboratories they should have if they plan on college - but learning can't be stopped. And it's learning that gives hope as another generation, bit by bit, is able to step up to the plate to meet the challenges before us.
So, yes, a poem on the earthquake is still relevant. And then some. Maybe it's a prayer.
by Magalie Boyer
Some things we lost in the earthquake:
The Ministry of Planification and of External Cooperation and the Ministry of Public Health
The Ministry of Finance and of the Economy and the Palais de Justice
The Primature and the DGI
The National Palace
Sainte Trinite and Sacre Coeur
The Wesleyan Church of Carrefour-feuilles
Maxo’s records, complete with his new-born picture, from Chancerelle
And Mario, who was 17 and albino
Marie-Lucie, a nursing student, Marie-Lucie and her 98 classmates
The habit of hearing harmony in the city’s cacophony
(As if the ensemble of tap-taps and 4x4s could be a choir!)
Our casual relationship with rank misery
The ability to match our tears to our grief
The mask of sufficiency
The fig leaf of society
Thank you, Ruth and Magalie, for sharing this with us.