Port au Prince, Haiti Day 10

Just packed after a long day of what was meant to be writing, but ended up being many more sessions. Its humbling to be approached by so many people who do not usually access psychology; to sit with drivers, groundskeepers, cooks, managers, community organizers, accountants, and others who are willing to open up about things raw and frightening and distressing and very, very human.

They are burning a lot now–trash, bodies, debris. Everyone of us coughs with a little wheeze. I walked again, today, with 4 beautiful prayer ties made by dear friends in Santa Fe. Found an elder mango tree, an old and earthquake fallen deciduous tree, a vibrant pink flowering tree, and a banana tree. Last night the woman who cooks and cares for my friends home and I lit the sweetgrass and sage and placed the first prayer tie on their land; today I placed them around the neighborhood of the Hotel Montana. Roads in this area opened today after heavy machinery cleared large debris; the stench was stronger with so much stuff stirred up.

The damage here is mind boggling; houses and apartment buildings literally hanging over the edge of the land, a 4 story residence pancaked into complete flatness. Tiny scrawny kittens roam this area–I wonder where they belonged? There are so many starving animals, silently withering away in a slow death. No one talks about them with such a immense loss of human life, so they will just disappear.

My friends and I still estimate 500,000 people dead. So many of them will also just disappear, in a land where Spirits remain close to us, troubled if they are not given the proper passage to Guinee. I envision a day of mourning, and many ceremonies–perhaps one in each major lakou, simultaneously, to honor and bid farewell so that these Spirits can find their way home. Kanaval is coming, soon—-how impossible to imagine the celebration at this time, and how equally impossible to imagine there might be no collective expression of the historic and cultural acknowledgement of the long fight for freedom.

Ayiti, Cheri, nap kembe, ansamn.

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