Thursday, June 17, 2010

Look into his eyes - Haiti, Part 1

The Poor House in Limbe is located next to the cemetery.  It's  a convenient location since many of it's residents will end up in the cemetery soon anyway.  This is where the poorest of the poor end up  . . . young men with AIDS, old people near death, homeless children.  The building was originally used to store bodies and prepare them for burial.  In a sense, it still does. 

Sometimes when a person dies there, the body will just be carried over to the cemetery and dropped into one of the trenches between the concrete crypts, Ray told me.  I walked through the cemetery and saw skulls, leg bones and jaw bones.  They may have been simply the exposed remains of the bodies left there or evidence left behind after a voodoo ritual.  Ray and Bonnie come to the Poor House several times a week to feed the people who sleep there.  They bring a mixture of rice and beans that they allow to cool to a barely warm temperature before they come because most of the people will just eat with their hands.  The little boy that you see pictured above is typical.  Look carefully at his picture.  He eats from the upturned tail of his shirt. No bowl, no spoon  . . . just hands and a shirt tail. Look in his eyes.

This is the face of Haiti.  But there is hope.  Read more tomorrow.