Conversations with the Living: The Haitian AIDS Crisis

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Archive for January 2010

Haitian People Seek To Postpone Presidential Election

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Makes sense since the country is in tatters at the moment. Not sure what bringing in a new administration would do right now. Let’s hope the first thing on the agenda for the eventual new leadership is INFRASTRUCTURE. Check out the piece in the NY Times today.

Gede Greg C.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/30/world/americas/30haiti.html?hp

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The Children of Port Au Prince

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I was doing some more web surfing and came across this article in today’s NY Times about the home grown rebuilding effort in Haiti. What struck me was the plight of the schools destroyed in the quake and the children and teachers lost to this disaster. As an ex-educator and current education consultant, I know full well the developmental effects surely to be suffered by the kids who lost schools, teachers, and classmates. If this happened in the US, we’d have trouble dealing with the social and psychological effects. Multiply that a thousand fold and we have the current situation in Port Au Prince. Also saw an ally John Henry Telemaque mentioned in the story. He’s a great person and I feel more confident in the rebuilding efforts if he has something to do with it. Check it out. Let us know your thoughts.

Gede Greg C.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/29/world/americas/29haiti.html?ref=education

Haitians At Home Helping Themselves

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I was web surfing and came across this cool piece on CNN.com about Haitians in Port Au Prince picking up shovels, broken pieces of buildings, and tools and beginning their own rebuilding effort. As we all know, the UN and World sponsored relief and rebuilding efforts are moving very slowly. Fed up and hungry Haitians have been forced to do something on their own and not just stand pat while the experts formulate a plan.

Of course re-building with shoddy and damaged materials is extremely dangerous, but what real alternative is available at the moment? This just speaks to the indomitable will my people possess, especially during tough times. We may not always get it right, but dammit we try. Check out the story and let we know your thoughts.

Gede Greg C.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/americas/01/28/haiti.rebuilding/

Canned

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It looks like Haiti’s best friend and noted wordsmith Paul Shirley has been let go by the ESPN network due to his harsh comments on the recent Haiti Earthquake and the Haitian people. First off, I’m not happy that this man was let go for essentially voicing his opinion. I’m sure there was some pressure levied at ESPN from Haitian athletes and Haitian interest groups.

I wish he would have done a little research on Haiti’s tumultuous history before making writing his piece but oh well. I’m sure he would have had a different take after doing a little studying. Either way, I wish him the best of luck, although I don’t think he needs it as he’s collected several nice size checks from David Stern and the National Basketball Association throughout his illustrious career and is sure to live out the rest of his days in relative comfort.

Interested to see if he tries to spin this episode. Would love to see that press conference. Below please find a link to Chicago Breaking Sports News’ blurb on his inglorious dismissal.

Gede Greg C.

http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2010/01/espn-dumps-ex-bull-shirley-for-haiti-remarks.html

I Can’t Believe People Are So Ignorant

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This ex-NBA player/bench rider Paul Shirley wrote a pretty scathing article about the Haiti earthquake and how the inhabitants of my island were responsible for their own plight. I saw this earlier today and had to really hold back from launching some invectives in his direction. It’s sad that people, even those that have been fortunate and lived a life that 90% of the people on this planet would die for, could be so ignorant.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion and each opinion, no matter how asinine and incendiary, should be respected. I’ll let you guys be the judge. I look forward to your comments.

Gede Greg C.

http://www.flipcollective.com/2010/01/26/if-you-rebuild-it-they-will-come-by-paul-shirley/

Canada Oh Canada!

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I don’t really get to talk about Canada and what that country/continent means to the average Haitian. The path of Haitian migration to North America usually follows this path. Either you fly or float into South Florida or fly American American Airlines to NYC.

From that point after you’ve assessed where you stand the best chance of survival and success you disperse to one (or several depending on how well you can adapt) of the following locales:

New York City – In particular the Brooklyn nabes of Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Canarsie, and Midwood. If you dip down to the other side of the Belt Parkway and land in the the leafy borough of Queens, you’ll touch down in either Queens Village, Hollis, Cambria Heights, Rosedale, or Laurelton. You get a few neg lacaye sightings in the Bronx and Harlem, but Uptown (minus the Upper West Side that still represents) is pretty much devoid of our people.

Massachusetts – Boston, Roxbury, Dorchester, and Cambridge can resemble the most gentrified version of Flatbush with the number of Haitians per square foot.

Florida – Forget about it. South Miami is so Haitian that we’ve even got our own section of town nicknamed “Little Haiti”. Places like Miramar, North Miami, Lake Park, Lauderdale Lakes, Kendall, Lake Worth, and Fort Lauderdale are teeming with Haitians; and generally regarded as main Haitian hubs outside of the island itself.

Canada – Our neighbor to the North has been a haven for Haitians for many years. While it doesn’t get the same kind of ink as the aforementioned Haitian hot spots in the US, Haitians have been migrating to Quebec, Montreal, and Toronto for many many moons. Whether its the pristine streets, the familiar language, or Canada’s extremely tolerant immigration laws; there’s something in this nation that draws droves of Haitians there annually.

Which brings me to the point of this post. I was reading the New York Times the other day and saw that Canadians had donated $20 Million to Haiti Earthquake Relief through two telethons. On top of that, the Canadian government has matched the citizens’ donations dollar for dollar; bringing the current donation to approximately $40 Million. All from a country with about roughly one tenth of the US’ populations.
Amazing!

Gede Greg C.

For more on the Canadian peoples’ chunky gift check out the NY Times article here

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/26/canadians-give-generously-to-haiti/?scp=2&sq=canada%20haiti&st=cse

Thank You For Your Support

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Thanks for everyone who came out to support us on Sunday, January 24, 2010 at Hamburger Mary’s in West Hollywood, CA for our Earthquake Relief fundraiser. We have a nice donation that is going to be sent out this week for the Hospice St. Joseph and the Temple of Yehwe. Keep an eye out on our Conversations with the Living Facebook page and this blog to get more information on our upcoming events and relief status for the Hospice St. Joseph and the Temple of Yehwe.

Gede Greg C.