Wednesday, April 28, 2010
think like a squatter
As this New York Times article makes clear, many who were previously not squatters now are and will be for for the foreseeable future in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince.
And its not just residents like Ginette Lemazor and her family, who, the article notes, live "in a flimsy structure fashioned from plastic sheeting and salvaged wood. They have a bed — “Please, make yourself at home,” she said, pointing to it — and a chair." Schools are operating under tarps. Impromptu latrines are so full that people are invading half-wrecked houses to use their toilets. And one thought unites everyone: the government doesn't communicate (except to falsely promise supplies) and is doing nothing. Indeed, in a recent interview, President René Préval, rather than speaking about rebuilding, promised there would be more earthquakes.
There's hope, however, in the words and actions of this man:
"Jean-Claude Gouboth, 36, the leader of a small encampment on the grounds of an old villa, said he had ignored the president’s remarks “because the president ignores me.” Mr. Gouboth has already rebuilt his small convenience store with wood from inside his heavily damaged house. “You have to face the facts and recoup,” he said. “Nobody’s going to do anything for you."