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#4792: Re: #4777: Re: #4774: ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Style Lakay-- Saut D'eau (fwd)

From: Gina Ulysse <gulysse@bates.edu>

Thank you for responding to the message. I'd like to expand on my previous
statement by sharing the following:

1. For me "development" need not be synonymous with "Modernization." I refrain
from using the latter because of the evolutionary themes that are at its core.
Both terms are rather dangerous, as they are predicated upon this idea of the
"primitive" which I don't subscribe to at all.  I also believe we must remain
clear about the differences between economic growth and sustainable development
that benefits local areas.  I certainly am not against fixing the roads to the
Ville Bonheur.  I, too, went via Morne Cabrit. That ride would have been way
shorter and smoother, had we had paved roads. The beautiful mud, to which I
referred, (which I don't think should be paved), carpeted that amazing hike that
leads to the actually Saut.  At numerous points, there are much smaller
waterbeds ot springs coming from the main source that are also part of the

2.  Having electricity, drinking water, phone, transportation, sanitation and
medical facilities etc. is not development or even modernization. They are basic
human needs that ought to exist and should have been provided by the state. As
we all know, historically the Haitian state has never had any sense of
responsibility to most of those outside of the capitol. Very early, it
positioned itself against the rest of the nation. I'm of the perspective that
development anywhere is predicated upon having a state that sees itself as the
provider of such necessities. Once those are in place, let's talk about
developing or modernizing what already exists.  Again for me at the heart of
these concepts (both in theory and way too often in practice) are biased
standards that have, more often than not, undermined, devalued and exploited
local resources.

4. You are absolutely right poor is relative. I am not sure that the farmer
would appreciate it at all.  He told me off in a second when he mistakenly
thought I was making fun of his hat. That is a whole other story. Just for
clarification, the other two dwellings are also their homes. During the holiday
the whole family (3 generations) doubles up in two and rent two. So we literally
occupied their homes which they vacated for the time. I also couldn't tell you
exactly how the local stands etc. would be affected.  I will risk assuming that
we all know enough about competition and what the market will bear coupled with
the power of "formal" businesses with state support and how they'd respond to
smaller more "informal" economic ventures. At the same we should also remember
that in Haiti the oligarchy, those with monopolies etc have often followed their
own sets of rules.  There is no system of price control so it is people who have
to bear the market.

I am certainly not against restaurants either. We also brought food that we
cooked ourselves during our stay. Yet, I also couldn't resist the mayi & zaboca.
I took responsibility for my stomach since no one had fallen over from bad food
and made a personal choice.  While I had the funds to exercise that choice I am
sure that many others didn't. If all we had were restaurants and hotels then
what about those who cannot afford those price? Again, you said it yourself
certain things were not to your liking. I think you'd agree that what is not
your cup of tea may be someone else's.  So when I sent this message. I was
wondering if I had the task of "developing" parts of Saut D'Eau, what would I
do?  I kept thinking of cottages instead of hotels because that would be more
appropriate for the more immediate enviroment and smaller hotels further out
etc...... What would be integral in my approach is working with the locals from
the onset (that is at the conception level) to find out how  they think they can
or want to be part of this process. Development doesn't have to be a gun and for
some, sometimes, the gun is the greenbacks.

5. Finally, hardship is also relative. Indeed, what I'd tolerate in Haiti, I
certainly would not accept in France given its "first world" status. That is my
whole point in a nutshell. What is appropriate and possible there is not
necessarily what we should apply nor expect to achieve over here. I wish you had
suggested a more regional or parallel example? Should Lourdes in France be the
ultimate marker that epitomizes the highest degree of civilization? Haiti is not
France and France is not Haiti.  No matter how much we develop or modernize. It
just won't be. History has already seen to that.

MaXimUm ResPEkt

Dr. Gina Ulysse
African-American Studies
Bates College                              "CONSCIOUSNESS IS ILLEGAL"
Lewiston ME 04240                                                -PETER TOSH
Ph: (207) 786-6436
Fx: (207) 786 8338