Experiencing Haiti two weeks ago was another reminder of the joy that is available in the simple things.
With no televisions, Wii’s, and very fickle Wi-fi the group quickly took to nightly card games, board games and friendly banter. And when the power went out because we were running too much voltage in the compound we went to the open-air lounge and continued talking (in hushed voices) through the night.
Although according to our American standards and luxuries, Haiti is a “third-world country” it is ironic how with our luxuries, freedoms, access to goods and services, and consumer-driven economy people are not happier in America. We enjoy being a “First world” country but what about quality of life? What about happiness? What about satisfaction? I didn’t feel a weighty, emotional toll when I visited Haiti because everyone I came in contact with had a bright-white smile on their face, the children possessed an eagerness to learn, and the young adults held on to hope that education would take them wherever they could dream– with the understanding that they will have to leave Haiti to “make it.”
I saw people going on about their business (no matter how big or small) in a country that is under-served and almost invisible to the rest of the Americas.
“Poor” is relative. Poor can be a physical state. Poor can also be a mental state. I don’t like using the terms first world and third world. I’d rather describe Haiti as underprivileged and underserved, but the people and indelible spirit of Haiti is undoubtedly: rich.
So as I independently learn more about Haiti and its sensitive history, I will not forget Haiti for what it has taught me; that the most important things in life, or what I really NEED cannot be purchased.