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#984: Haiti: Who goes there? Antoine brings to our attention
From: Guy Antoine <GuyAntoine@windowsonhaiti.com>
According to a correspondent who gave me permission to
pass this along, this would be how the magazine TRIPS,
www.tripsmag.com , presents Haiti in its October 1999 issue.
The author of the article is Jason Wilson.
The magazine cover reads in big bold letters: WHO GOES THERE?.
Under this title were listed three countries and a part of the US:
Mongolia, Ethiopia, Haiti and Detroit. The tone of the entire article
is negative to the extreme, and here are some extracts:
" Brown is the color of Haiti's mountainous spine. Not a lovely sepia
or deep mahogany, mind you, but a flat, sickly, heartbreaking brown...
In less than a century, Haiti's interior has deteriorated from a prime
agricultural center- one prized by French colonialists for its coffee
and sugar- to a wasteland, stripped bare of timber that could be used
for fuel or shelter. To truly understand the plight of Haiti, the poorest
country in the Western Hemisphere, a place where 75% of the population
lives in absolute poverty, you need to understand brown. A dusty brown
that covers your shoes, clothes and bags from the moment you are
greeted by the creaky brass band on the tarmac at the Port-au-Prince
airport, then by the sign at customs: "We are sorry to welcome you
in this condition." It's the same brown as the hide of the mangy,
rabid dog that fights with an enormous pig over the right to eat a
pile of garbage, this in the middle of an alley that our driver, used as
a shortcut to navigate city traffic. It's the brown of dirty rivers where
women and children bathe and do laundry and relieve themselves,
only a few hundred yards upstream from the food stalls of an open-air
Brown is the color of Haiti's dry, suffering reality. "Yet, even amid all
the brown, a glimmer of hope for the country's future may be seen in
a new color-blue. More specifically, bleu, as in Haitian Bleu, a new
variety of gourmet coffee bean now being grown by Haiti's highland
coffee farmers." I wrote that more than a year ago. And I will freely
admit that I embellished, if not outright lied, by writing it.....It is now
more than a year later and coffee buyers and tasters say that
Haitian Bleu is, at best, a mediocre coffee, with too bitter of an
>>He goes on to talk about his disappointing visit to Haiti and
>>describes the horrible places he has been to. At the end of the
>>article, a table of important facts is drawn. I am not going to go
>>into details, but to give you an idea of the content.
DIVERSIONS/PASTIMES-----Cockfighting, soccer, seeking US aid
TV PROGRAMMING -------Limited, mostly news
STUFF TO BRING HOME-----Sequined voodou flags, infectious diseases
End of extract.
The address found on the website is as follows:
155 Filbert St, Suite 245 Oakland CA 94607.
The phone number is (510) 834-3433 and the fax number is (510) 834-2663.
The office's e-mail address is: email@example.com
Guy S. Antoine
Look thru & Imagine!