Basically my friend sent me an email she sent out expressing her concerns about this article she read hence my response below.
Next time we feel the need to be a bit extravagant, please stop if only for a second about how many people at that very instant may have expired of starvation, thirst, and other circumstances that are directly correlated to the indulgence of us, the few privileged ones.
If this trend continues at the accelerated pace of today, we, who are on the margin between the extreme wealth and extreme poverty, could be in no time scraping for food as well.
Until next time…
peace to us all!
I know too well of the effect of this waste and its affect on the rest of the poor of this world. As a Native of Haiti, I have witness what this culture of consumerism and waste have caused far too many.
It is a proven and too evident a fact that many poor Haitians result to eating dirt cake day in and day out due to abject poverty in a country that used and still can produce enough food to feed its populace. Read more about this here: (links no longer available)
Thanks to World Bank and all the others Neo Liberalists who believe in free trade and usher this Laissez Faire culture and attitude of Global Corporations that are destroying the poor countries of this world. Pillage and Raping for profit has become the order of the day with little regards for the rest of the world as long as one favorite brand is doing well and one portfolio is in a robust shape, too bad for the “inconvenience” that the lifestyle and comfort us few seek may cause the billions of people around the globe who can barely access clean water.
Lately I have heard reports of riots in Haiti, Egypt, Senegal, Ivory Cost , India and the list goes on, over high cost of food that is becoming nearly impossible to buy… The irony is that rice is the staple for all these country and they all are capable of growing rice. Many of these countries still grow rice and yet their populace can not afford the rice due to free trade that.
I must admit that the more i hear about this the more paralyze i feel. Truth is, I stop going to haiti for the last three years for this exact reason. last time I was there I saw how worse things were getting and I felt guilty and hypocritical for coming and going while a majority of populace of young men and women just living in dire conditions. I have since felt a growing reluctance to go back.
Yes the remittance of Haitians living abroad sent to Haiti totals to nearly $2 Billion US, keeps many in Haiti just barely surviving… Still, there are too many whose lives are spiraling into an abyss of dire poverty with no hope and end in sight. And that at times depresses me…
I am all for doing something… the question for me remains where do I start?
A friend of mine wanted to hear more of my impressions of my first visit to Africa. He also wanted to know why Cote d’Ivoire and or Ghana. He is curious to know, if any, my connections to these places and my decisions to go to those countries rather Senegal for instance.
Simply put, Ivory Coast and Ghana are in West Africa and being an African of the New World, I feel a natural connection to the continent and a deeper familiarity with the region visited. West Africa.
THE DEAL IS…
I wanted to be on the continent for the Millennium. That was 10 years ago when I started to seriously contemplating the idea of visiting Africa. At one point, I did not really care where I landed. I just wanted to set foot on the continent. I explored traveling by ferry from Southern Spain to Morocco among other travel schemes.
Then, Senegal seems to be not too far out of reach if I can only find a cheap flight from either France or Spain. The urge to set foot in Africa took a sharp blow when racist Spaniards started to react violently against North African Migrant workers in Southern Spain. Since, I have not been in Spain for at least 7 years.
Then along came Joel, a Franco-Ivorien that I have met through a mutual acquaintance about four years ago. We fast became friends and since day one he invited me to go to Abidjan. Joel’s urging only rekindled in me the drive to travel to Africa a reality. His encouragement and constants urging became my the goal to accomplish in 2007.
Visiting Ghana came late into the picture. Not until when I was frantically looking for an affordable airfare that Ghana became part of my travel plan. Since the only direct flight from the New York to West Africa flies to Ghana, I instantly started to play with multiple destinations and dates that would include a couple of days in Ghana.
Luckily, I founf an airfare that would cost me a couple hundred dollars my airfare just by staying over in Accra for a couple days with connecting flight between Ghana & Ivory Coast. I was too happy to grab that fare and run with it. Then I remember meeting a couple of cool brothers over the summer and we were talking about traveling to Africa, unbeknown to me that one of then have been to Accra numerous time and insisted that I make it to Ghana and that he knows just the right person to put in touch there. Weeks later, I met Brian whom I have met earlier during the summer month and he was with this man. Guess who, Alwyn, the very brother he told me about. We talked for a short while and he extended his invitation for me to come to Accra and that he will be there just about the same time I was planning to be in West Africa. With so much things falling into place, I was only convinced that it was my time to go back Home. Home to Africa.
THE SPIRITUAL CONNECTION…
Being Haitian, I always feel that Africa is home. Never do I doubt that. I just know that I would make it there someday, somehow. I just know and believe I would one day.
In Haiti, there is a large majority of us who believe in this Vodou tenet that once we pass on our spirits travel back to its resting place. LAN GINEN, Haitian Kreyol for what is today Guinea a country in West Africa of course but this belief has much indept significance than the actual land/country to which . This idea of Ginen as our souls’ paradise / heaven, isn’t it profound how this notion of Lan Ginen does not have a hell like opposite as in Christianity’s heaven and hell notion. Go Figure!
Roughly translated “In Guinea or There in Guinea” for most Haitians is our Spiritual Home. That is where we believe that our spirits travel back to reunite with our ancestors in Africa. Although it has been said that Haitians has strong cultural and worship habits with the people of Benin. Where the practice of Vodou in both places could be uncannily similar.
Needless to say that I always believe, that one day, I will make it home to Africa, literally, dead or alive. I am just happy that recently I was able to make it there alive.
Until Next Time…
Post Tenebras Lux!