The 7.0 magnitude Earthquake that hit Haiti on Tuesday afternoon is a thing made of nightmares. A thing I would expect to read about in one of my science fiction novels, apocalyptic fantasy taking place in 3010 on an island nation yet to be born. But it's on my TV now, it's in the pile of bodies on the cover of my morning newspaper, it's on the social networking statuses of my closest friends; a living nightmare. A grim reaper with long fingers which poke at the conscience of mothers who know where their children are, and couples snuggled under their pillow top California king comforters, and people like me, who blog about hair.
I want to cry. But I can't. I just keep thinking about how unfair it is, and how so many people don't even know any Haitians, and how those people will watch the news and read the paper and think this is a sort of science fiction. I feel anger and some form of a pulling guilt, that I can go about living my normal life too. Because I do read and consume so much science fiction, particularly apocalyptic sci fi, I have a vivid "mind's eye". I can see- perhaps a little girls legs sticking out from under a slab of concrete- right now. I can split off from myself here at the computer and go there to her. And I want to cry.
So back in my little world, our world of computers and social media, I have found a few bright spots during this tragedy in my close circle. Fellow blogger and natural DC diva "Noemi" has kept up her impeccable blog with the latest in news and resources for us here to help those in Haiti, or those playing a more active role in supporting the relief efforts.
She is one of the people I know who has family in Haiti and is doing all that she can to get general support and aid where it is needed most. Please, please, check out and subscribe to her blog, A Style Muse. FYI- She also recommended the awesome stylist who was able to cut my curls and has some of the most interesting posts on culture, style and Facebook :-)
When I went to college in Boston, I quickly surrounded myself with the other minority students, many Haitian, Cape verdian, Bajan, Trinidadian, and just- from every country I ever even heard of, (or hadn't heard of). Two of my very closest friends are Haitian, and I've befriended their friends. My roommate of four years, and friend for over 10 years now, introduced me to Haitian food, and music, and men lol. I even jumped at the chance to go on a cruise that stopped in Labadee, Haiti (only to find out we were in some fenced in area, blocked off from the rest of the country by mountains and even fences). I found my self learning a tiny bit of creole and cooking and respecting the work ethic and pride of the culture. Partaking in seasonings that take a day to prepare, and some of the most elaborate celebrations I've ever been to, and also some of the most strict parenting I've helped circumvent (:-P), allude to the resilient spirit of the nation- despite all else.
One of my friends has been educating her friends and peers about her culture and the History of Haiti on Facebook. She is helping me to get together a list of facts that we all should know about Haiti, which will be an upcoming post. She is also a beautiful woman, wearing her hair naturally. So stay tuned for more about what is good and beautiful in the world, and please do what you can to help restore a bare minimum functioning world to as many people in Haiti as you can reach.