Haiti often gets a bad rap in the news, whether it is politics, weather or disease. You know… earthquakes, cholera and malaria. These things do exist and do happen, but not very often. Haitians don’t understand why their country is presented negatively to the world. There are positive and negative things here like everywhere else! It’s just that the positive seem to be kept secret while the negative are played up by the media.
I have to admit I thought the same things before we moved to Haiti. I had no desire to go to Haiti, the idea never even occurred to me until God started opening my understanding. When we were invited on our first work team and I finally did go, the things I saw on my first trip were overwhelming. But after being here awhile (and getting used to what I was seeing), I discovered that there is an entire other level that the first-time visitor might miss at first. In congested areas the natural beauty of Haiti is often at or above the rooftops.
Don’t look down so closely and so often. Rather look up, around and beyond the obvious a little more often. Haitians don’t seem to notice what is always there (trash, potholes, mud, cinder blocks); why do we? (I think there is a spiritual application here, don’t you?)
Haiti is a beautiful land. Wild, unspoiled beaches ring the entire country. Waterfalls abound along roads and streams. Mountains and palm trees frame almost every view. Bright green rice fields blanket the plains and large fruit trees line the clear, rock-strewn rivers. Sounds almost like a travel guide, eh?
The only good thing about the negative publicity is that Haiti is largely empty of tourists. That means that we get spoiled. We have almost the entire beach to ourselves (well, not always!), and there are some spots where we will only see other missionaries. So while tourism is needed badly for economic reasons, the unspoiled, unhurried natural feel of the place is great for now.
We are looking forward to returning soon. It is a wonderful opportunity and privilege for our family to serve there!