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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

This blog was started as a means to keep friends and family informed of our overseas journeys. And since we haven’t been out of the States for a year or two, there hasn’t been much activity on this blog.

But often times I’ve wanted to post something online yet without starting another blog. Just too many things to organize and maintain. So I guess I’ll turn this blog into a place where I can post anything! Ah, freedom of choice! 

 

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More often than not I take the road less traveled. While this is true in driving out of my way to avoid interstates, it parallels my lifestyle in the daily choices I make as well. I’m not a conformist nor am I a rebel. I just “walk to the beat of a different drummer” as the saying goes. And I surely do like it this way!

I think this makes life more spontaneous and less predictable. While I thoroughly enjoy stability, I abhor boredom. So shaking things up from time to time keeps me enjoying life more while avoiding the pitfalls of average.

A friend recently told me, half in awe, half in truth, “I wouldn’t wanna be you!”  Well, I wouldn’t wanna be most people! Her point was from her perception of my unique lifestyle that so greatly differs from her routine, same ole-same old, lifestyle choices. While neither is right or wrong, neither is perfect either. There are always trade-offs.

This morning I did the dishes while watching a young doe foraging among the pines. Most of my friends threw their breakfast dishes into the dishwasher and headed out the door for gym, coffee, work, shopping, or their latest volunteer project. My life is slower paced which again, based on perception and comparison, may seem boring. But I thrive on the quiet, thoroughly enjoy the peace, and find it much easier to accomplish my work in a natural setting free from the hustle and bustle of rigid schedules, back-to-back appointments, and keeping up with the Jones.

Isn’t it wonderful that we are all so unique! Love may make the world go round, but our differences are the spice of life!

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The cholera epidemic in Haiti has brought this nation once more to the front pages of media. How sad that disasters are what draw our attention rather than keeping our thoughts turned toward a problem until its resolved. Perhaps people are too dependent on the media to direct their thoughts. What if each person were to find one worthwhile project to get involved with and stay connected with rather than a little here, a little there, and consequently not really make much difference anywhere.

I’m encouraged to hear that the United States has finally released some of the billions of dollars promised to aid this little country, albeit 10 months late. I realize of course that the US has been pouring in hundreds of thousands of dollars every year for the past 50 years, into the government of Haiti. But the money that people donated to the disaster, in the form of big charities, has for the most part been held back.

In a recent interview with Haitian president, from his new office, he complained about the slow flow of money into his nation. Knowing the corruption of the government officials in Haiti (where is there any nation without gov’t corruption?) I wanted to remind him to point that finger of blame at himself. This nation is too dependent on the UN and on the easy money that comes from caring people like Americans. We want to help but should require some form of accountability as well as reciprocal action by all governments that we aid.

It appears that an infrastructure overall is in the planning, but oh, what a cost to human suffering and human lives! Time is of the essence and time is what is required for all these changes to be implemented.

If there is one lesson that I hope the world can learn from Haiti it is this; nations cannot allow themselves to sink so low that the ability to recover is overwhelmingly impossible. I think of Uganda, also in its past a thriving, prosperous nation that quickly deteriorated under government corruption. I think of America and the unthinkable dangers that could sudden come upon her because her leaders are not watchful and proactive against the downward spiral of disasters.

If the past truly does repeat itself, then why aren’t we applying the lessons learned from the past to avoid problems today? Haiti was once a thriving economy – a playground of lush tropic paradise. Once the people were working and families were secure. What went wrong? Well, too much to write about in this blog today! But the History of Haiti is easily available online. Haiti made her bed of troubles and Haiti is reaping the reward for the choices she made in generations past. The people today are the victims of their ancestors who carelessly made decisions without future planning. And what a mess the world now faces in trying to help these people who are ill-equipped to help themselves.

Today some Haitians started rioting against the UN troops there. I understand their frustrations. Yet once again, they are making poor decisions without thought to long range effects of biting the hand that feeds them. God help Haiti…its beyond the help of natural men. Thank God, He is, He will, and He wants to, to the degree that Haiti cooperates with Him!

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Hello Pastor Carole
i,m happy too to tell you more about the sitiation. first of all i want to tell :They have a Group of prayer They have 98 persons with them . and they pray every day the want you be their leader. when you will go back in Haiti  they ve more thing to show you about the things they do.   their sons cant go to school their dont have no clothers. some of the cant eat well,they need your help , they are praying for you all the time . everyday the have a meeting at 12 o’clock.Dear i know God will bless you in the way you are . try to help them how you can. may God bless you and protect you all the time .

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My heart aches for the people of Haiti. What false hopes were given to them with all the charities, donations, media attention, volunteers, etc. just 8 months ago. To have heard what they heard and to live what they’ve lived, only to find life even more unbearable with each passing day, must be totally hopeless.

On a recent trip there, I found that nothing had changed. Yes, surely there are several new hundred cinder-block homes but from the air as the plane descends for the landing, the sights are no different than that of 5 months ago. As the airplane rolls down the tarmac past the ruined terminal, nothing has changed. As the mob of passengers tries to find their bags among the piles in the warehouse, nothing has changed except fewer white faces in the crowd as the arriving volunteers dwindle down.

The country is in a hopeless mess of politics and governments. The UN has become the ruling party without any future commitment. How can one rule a house well if one is not a shareholder in that house?  Without any stock in the future of the country, there is ineffective and worthless planning. Everything is rated on what looks good for the record yet the history books will show that UN ‘help’ is a waste of dollars and manpower. While troops sit in canvas covered trucks, weaving through heavy traffic, piles of rubble, narrow roads, and the hot sun, they daily drive past real problems, real people, and real needs without so much as a care. Heading off to do what?

How does one eat an elephant? One bite at a time. How does one rebuild Haiti? One day at a time.

The private sector is making more progress due to the easier flow of funds and manpower, not tied up in the red tape of politics.

But the private sector doesn’t have the idle equipment that the UN has. The heavy equipment that could be removing rubble from the streets, for example. The heavy equipment that could be leveling the remains of the homes, where people are trying to create a new life amid the rubble, but without the means or ways of rebuilding.

Do I have the answers? Yes. At least I’d like the opportunity to give my plans the opportunity to be proven or disproven by other consultants. Haiti was in bad shape and a horrible mess before the earthquake. The earthquake is not the problem. The earthquake should have been the opportunity for Haiti to rise from the ruins and become something she hasn’t been since the days of the plantations. A thriving society, a prosperous welfare, a sound government. All are possible, especially with the billions of aid dollars sitting in bank accounts around the world.

What will Haiti look like 12 months from now? Unfortunately, I’m going to project that nothing will have changed. And that breaks my heart.

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