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#3372: Dorce comments on Clements post of 4/26 (fwd)




From:LAKAT47@aol.com

In a message dated 04/26/2000 9:46:08 AM Pacific Daylight Time,  writes:

<< It's hard for me to excuse and accept this type of behavior as normal...or
 even try put myself in their place and picture myself acting that way! I
 agree many cruel things in their past history...is cause for much alarm and
 sadness...but I don't think we should excuse such behavior because of it...I
 think it's a warning sign of a much bigger problem...in the country...than
 just being annoyed that a white boy is in town... >>
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Rosann,

I have been thinking this but not wanting to open a can of worms, however I 
think you should know something about how missionaries are received in Haiti 
(and probably elsewhere).  While the people need so much, they are not poor 
in spirit so what missionaries have for them in the way of salvation is many 
times considered the "price" for being given food and clothing that IS 
needed.  Haitians do not need to be saved in the spiritual sense but in the 
physical sense.  I know many missionaries want to do good works and feel they 
are helping.  But some go to Haiti without knowing anything about the country 
or the people there except for what they were provided by the church.  They 
have no special affinity for Haiti or Haitians but are doing their best to 
fulfill an obligation to their church or to God.  Your son may be a wonderful 
person with a generous heart, but I believe he is seen as separate from the 
people.....wanting to take away their culture (Vodou) in exchange for life's 
necessities.  He may not know that he has more to learn from the people in 
the village than they have to learn from him.  Seeing the people in that 
light, giving them that dignity, does wonders for one's acceptance ratio.  If 
he looks on them as poor children who long for his money......he will always 
be the outsider and not someone who belongs in Haiti.  I have always felt 
accepted in Haiti and mostly because they see how I try to fit in and respect 
the customs and culture there.  I try to de-Americanize myself and remember 
that I am in someone's house.....not my own.  Respect.

It is possible that your son will come to this realization on his own....and 
if so he will have learned a valuable life lesson.  I wish him the best.

Kathy DorcÚ