Monday 13 January 2014

God’s mountain

The highest hill in Petionville fills the sky and greets us each morning - it's been here forever and has seen so much.  Solid earth – with some patches of scree and full, full of houses embedded in the earth, houses that might slide away at the slightest tremor if it were not for the massive, stolid determination I can see now.  The highest hill - protective and overwhelming - stretches one way undulating from the peak at roughly the same soaring altitude eastwards.  And west, it plummets down to earth in full view.  Gollum might have been here.  And the Mines of Moria beneath.   There’s a clean descent westwards interrupted only by a few solitary trees breaking an otherwise solid blue sky.  The colours tessellate like ceramic tiles, azure joins earth.
It’s more than a hill to the ten thousand families here.  And to anyone that can see it: it’s God’s mountain – because these souls that live here so simply – perched incorrigibly - have more than you can imagine.

Each home has grey breeze-block walls and fifteen feet of real estate.  In daylight and from a distance the windows are black pin holes and at night pierce one’s soul like a hundred Jerusalem stars.  It breathes at night.  And accommodates the camp fires providing supper and supports the sleep of tired workers on a few dollars a day.

In the daytime, the cool concrete is somehow camouflaged with subtle colours, faded, though still hewn out of the bed rock of Port-au-Prince.

On this trip I can see Haiti is happy again – though I’ve only known her a short while – when I first saw her she was sick.  Now she is standing and singing with full voice.

Haiti really is happy again – I can see it in the hilltop houses. In the streets of vibrant colour, determination and patience!

Don’t want for anything, Haiti! Then you won’t feel the world’s indifference.