This is Madame Dushane. She lives in a fishing village I’ve been to a couple of times, once uneventfully, and the other involving only a minor shipwreck.
I mention the shipwreck only to illustrate that transportation isn’t a given in Haiti. The distance we travelled in last summer’s 13 hour bus trip, for instance, could have likely been traversed in an hour or two here in the states.
Madame Dushane is a single mother who makes her living selling the tiny fish you see in the basket. Of course, no one in the fishing village has need for her wares, as they all have access to the same waters, and, literally everyone in the village does nothing but fish.
Madame Dushane told me that she hitches a ride on a motor scooter whenever she can and travels to places that seem impossibly far by Haitian standards to sell her fish.
She does this not just in an attempt to eek out a living, but because she has dreams. One day she wants to leave the fishing village and move to Mole St. Nicholas, which seems to be the Haitian equivalent of moving to the ‘burbs.
When you ask her if she’d like you to pray for anything, she answers in the way any momma might: that her children would pass their all important National Exams (on which the entire Haitian educational system seems to hinge).
On the outside, her life looks nothing like mine. But strip away the hut, her work, and her village and she’s a momma who has big dreams for herself and her family. Just like me.
Friends and Readers: I am in Haiti this week, but have left you with a series of short posts highlighting aspects of Haitian culture to encourage thought, discussion, and understanding. The next one posts tomorrow. Thanks for reading! See you next week!