There are competing perceptions of Haiti.

There is the portrayal, in its art, that Haiti is a rural place of simplicity, order, old ways, peaceful, a collage of beautiful colors, shapes, and sounds. This is the Haiti that Gauguin would have painted had he sailed to Haiti instead of Tahiti.

There is the reality of Haiti, in a drive thru Port Au Prince, of collapsed concrete buildings, lingering fires in the street, pigs eating garbage as people sift through it next to them, street shops made from sheets of tin and plywood, hands shoved in your car window selling bottles of water.

The difference between the imagined Haitian paradise and the real fallen city is stark.

Would we rather accept a sentimental vision, or adjust to gritty reality?

Is our glass half full, or half empty?

Haiti is a pot of spicy soup with ingredients we savor, and ingredients we spit out.

 

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