Saturday, November 20, 2010

This Thanksgiving, Let's Be Really Thankful

When you think things are bad, be thankful you live here and not Haiti.

Posted by: Noel Jones

Times are hard in America right now, it's true. People have been out of work a long time. Many are losing their homes and can't afford health insurance. Seniors are having to choose between food and medication on a daily basis. But we are not wading up to our necks in garbage and sewage full of rotting dead animals for $112/month to fight a cholera epidemic that is killing our families and neighbors by the the thousands. We are not spending our days picking bits of food from giant piles of garbage in the streets. In these times when it can seem hard to find something to be thankful about, let's be thankful that our hardships are within the bubble of privilege of living in a first-world country, where hospitals must and will take care of those who do not have insurance, where there are food banks for the poor, and solid shelters for the homeless (although we need more to get everyone off the streets). Our youth are able to attend school, and our seniors are able to collect social security. Things are far from perfect, but they are also far from Haiti.

Check out Randal C. Archibold's article in The New York Times on current conditions in Haiti--it is truly mind-blowing. We have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season.


Tim Pickel said...

Yes, we do have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. We should all be thankful for the things we have and quit sweating the small stuff.

Having spent much time in Haiti, I understand their plight and how much worse it is today than a year ago. You really can't imagine how poor Haitians are unless you have witnessed in first hand. It is hard to wrap your mind around the conditions they live in and what their daily life is like.

Today I got up in a nice warm home and had a good breakfast. Many Haitians I know are waking up in makeshift living quarters and hoping to get just one meal today. We have no idea at all how thankful we should be today.

noel jones said...

How is the orphanage doing right now, Tim? Have the kids and workers been able to avoid getting sick with cholera?

I spoke to my brother recently, and many years ago he lived in Guatemala for a couple of years. He told me that he is really scared for Haiti because cholera is terrifying to watch--it apparently sucks all the water out of a person's body in a matter of hours--he said he watched people go from looking totally healthy to looking like a concentration camp victim in just four hours. He said it was terrifying to watch happen.

Tim Pickel said...

The kids are doing well Noel. There has been a shake-up in the administration of the orphanage, but in all honesty, it has placed the orphanage on solid ground.

All the children are doing well in school. The older children are doing well in the tests they take that may well provide a vocation for them in the future.

Haiti is struggling. Change and help is slow despite the massive aid influx. The cholera epidemic has not helped and seems to be growing. The country's future, as always, seems in peril.

noel jones said...

Thanks for the update, Tim--that's good to hear that the kids are doing well amidst all this. I guess they are lucky to have been moved out of Port au Prince, as they hopefully will be less threatened by the cholera epidemic.