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#1554: trips : Laleau comments to Morse


Dear Richard,

I agree with you 100% -- and have felt that way for a long, long time.  
Whenever I hear people talk about "fixing up" Cite Soleil, etc., I get the 
impression that they think somehow the subhuman living conditions can be 
improved incrementally.  No.  "Less raw sewage in the living room and 
drinking water" is not an improvement -- it's a lie.  Unacceptable, 
unacceptable, unacceptable.  And I don't want to hear about the Haitian 
people's "resilience" anymore, either... that excuse has been used for a long 
time to justify all kinds of exploitation and abuse... i.e., "You're strong, 
so you have to take it."  Working with abused children and the foster system 
gives me the same reaction -- there are a number of new books out now about 
"resilient children."  I wish the people who wrote them would spend more time 
putting the abusive parents in jail.

Incidentally -- I'm in a new job at a rural clinic working mainly with 
Hispanic farmworkers and their families... a pregnant woman I know is 
sleeping on the floor of a house of hostile relatives who won't give her a 
mattress, or even LET ANYONE ELSE give her one... I'm looking for housing for 
her.  In the course of that, I met a woman in the bank who told me about a 
homeless mother she knows who has 5 kids sleeping in the park.  Hollister in 
the winter is about as cold as Kenskoff... we don't have many homeless here, 
but any at all is also unacceptable... I'm in the process of developing the 
Family Counseling Service for this clinic, and hope to unite it with an 
Outreach department and beef it all up to provide some social services... 
outrage keeps me going, I guess.

Nancy Laleau