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#163: Improvements in Haiti: Wharram replies to Augustin

From: Bruce Wharram <bruce.wharram@sylvania.sev.org>


    I didn't intend on getting a long drawn out philosophical debate
over what is and what isn't "improvement", nor the definition thereof.
My only point was to comment on my observations of change, from a
positive perspective, between my August 1998 trip and my June 1999 trip.

    I would agree that maintaining roads, after they are constructed,
should be a priority, but short of that, resurfacing/reconstructing
roads should be a viable alternate.  While this road is in the process
of being rebuilt, concrete storm drainage ditches are also being
installed which should, in itself, be an improvement.
    Who's paying for this work?  Obviously I would have to assume that
the Haitian government is, while at the same time putting numerous
people to work, who no doubt would not be working otherwise.
    Another point of mine was that the garbage wasn't piling up but in
fact was being picked up.  Also, the roads were no longer covered with
plastic bottles as has been the case previously.
    I understand that education should be in the forefront and the
Haitian government should be working toward that end, however, numerous
groups such as Ministries in Action, which organizes the projects in
Haiti that, fortunately, I'm a part of, are making inroads, albeit very
minuscule, in providing and funding schools.  Some people think that
just because the Haitians are illiterate that they are "stupid",  that
is not the case with the people I come in contact with - they impress me
as being quite ingenious in nature.
    I am not Haitian, but dearly love the Haitian people, in fact I have
a lovely Haitian daughter-in-law.  These people have been the main
attraction that has been causing me to return to Haiti every year for
the last twelve years.  One possible solution that would be of
tremendous assistance to Haiti would be for some of the Haitians on this
list, who have all of the philosophical solutions to the problems of
Haiti  to return to Haiti; run for elective office; and implement these

Bruce Wharram