Monday, July 27, 2015
Language matters, and language can be power. The language I choose to use at any moment in Haiti determines who will and will not understand what I say. Like any power, this can be used for good or for bad. When used to express superiority, manipulate, degrade, suppress or exclude it is unjust; likewise, when used to amplify the voices of the suppressed and outcast it is full of justice and goodness.
When I say language, I mean the particular language of choice, be it English, French, Haitian Creole or Elvish. The issue is not that speaking any one of these languages is a bad thing in and of itself. The issue is about awareness of the privilege being able to speak them, and wisely reflecting on when and how to appropriately use them and NOT exert unjust power over others.
It was to illustrate this point that I chose to write a brief post a couple of weeks ago on racism, the shooting at Charleston's Emmanuel AME Church, and the parallels in Haiti, yet post it only in Haitian Creole (Men jan mwen we'l). #blacklivesmatter #lavinwaenpotan
Friday, July 17, 2015
Debbie, the youth director at Trinity who has been such a big part of my life, led the group of 8 youth along with the participation of Rev. Scott and his wife Missy, and Greg Hilderbran, a parishioner from Trinity who is involved with Consider Haiti, an organization based in Montrouis, Haiti.
Friday, July 3, 2015
Updates I'd like to call your attention to include:
1) New blog sites! On the right column, you will see the blog addresses for Episcopal Missionaries in Service (I'm still tracking down some of the other adult missionaries' blogs). Check them out to see what all they're up to. Many of the new YASCers are in the midst of their fundraising and preparations for moving to a new country.
2) How to Help! I'm not required to raise funds for this next year. However, check out the "How to Help." tab to see how you can get more engaged. Two things in particular: first, if you are interested in any of the work I mention on my blog, send me a message to discuss it further. Second, I do appreciate "mix-tapes"--it means a lot to me to have playlists from friends and family (I usually listen to music when I'm cooking). If you want to send me one, let me know! email@example.com
3) Reading List! I've updated my reading list (see "Reading List." tab) with more of the books I've read on economic development, human rights, and Haitian history and culture. I highly recommend some of the books on there, so go check them out!
Bondye beni ou.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Friday, June 19, 2015
Apre nouvel South Carolina kote gen yon moun blan ki touye 9 moun nwa andan legliz yo, pemet mwen di yon pawol ki pa jwe. Men li:
Mwen blan e se devwa mwen pou travay kont rasis yo. Kijan map fe sa? Nenpot jan ki posib. Siw konnen yon fason fe'm konnen, tanpri. Map swiv.
Pou kounyea yon fason se pou mwen pi byen komprann reyalite moun nwa ni Etazini ni nan lot peyi.
Yon lot fason: Mwen travay an Ayiti wi? Se yon peyi ki gen anpil nwa. Men gen blan ki kon visite la e yo pa konnen istwa Ayisyen byen. Se yon istwa ki vreman impotan pou nou komprann byen. Men yo rive isit pou "ede moun pov yo" men yo pa mande sa ki fe moun sa yo pov. Gen yon rezon ki rasis ki fe yo pov. Gen rezon esklavaj, dominasyon, jan Etazini trete peyi sa mal, jan UN pa fe anyen apre yo bay Ayiti cholera... Bagay sa yo se rasis yo ye. Mwen kwe sa.
Men pou yon blan pou antre Ayiti san yo konnen e komprann bagay say yo byen se yon enjistis pou Ayisyen yo. Se sa mwen panse. Sa montre'm ke istwa moun nwa yo pa impotan pou konnen. Yo nwa. Yo pov. E se jus jan li ye.
Non. Mwen pa aksepte sa. Plizye blan pa we sa. Se pa jus jan li ye. Gen yon istwa ki rasis. Gen yon jounnen joudia ki rasis e tout sa kontribye pou povrete nou we Ayiti, e vyolans nou we Etazini tou...
Mwen pa vle di mwen se yon moun ki pi bon pase lot, ki mwen menm mwen pat kon fe bagay rasis jan mwen pa konnen. Mwen koupab tou. Men mwen al cheche aprann.
Epi mwen vreman kwe, nan travay ki mwen genyen kounyea antre blan e Ayisyen, ki mwen gen obligasyon pou diskite istwa peyi sa avek tout blan yo. Mwen gen obligasyon pou montre yo se pa jus kon sa li ye. Mwen gen obligasyon pou fe blan yo sispann manje grenn je Ayisyen yo. E mwen espere ke efo ki map fe ap gen bon rezilta pou nou tout.
Map priye pou Bondye bay mwen fos sa la. Mwen mande tout zanmi Ayisyen e Ameriken pou ede'm komprann pi byen paske #blacklivesmatter Paske deskriminasyon li menm li dezumanize ni moun ki dezumanize men moun kap fe dezumanizasyon tou.
Finalman, map priye pou Charleston.
Sunday, May 10, 2015
For this post I want to share photographs from some of my visits this month (and last fall) of the ways these churches create displays in their worship spaces and fellowship halls that serve as constant reminders of the relationship. Pictures are from my visits to St. Timothy's Episcopal in Herndon, VA, St. Matthew's Episcopal in Spartanburg, SC, Grace Episcopal in Anderson, SC, and Christ Church Episcopal in Greenville, SC.