Wednesday, February 27, 2013

yo kraze kay la

I hesitate to share this because it has nothing to do with our family, and it doesn't exactly paint a pleasant picture of our "zone," as the Haitians call it. BUT, I've decided to share about what's happening because it does effect some of my students. 

*yo kraze kay la means they break the house

There has been a land dispute in our neighborhood (not near our house) recently. It's escalating into quite the feud. There's a gwo machine (back ho) tearing down houses on the land in question as I type this. And, twice this week there have been guns fired (no one has been shot, they just shoot to make noise and show their frustration). We are not in danger of any kind.

That brings us to today. The gwo machine was busy breaking houses, so the kids were at the top of the road when I arrived in Gramothe, just watching. I tried to get them to show me what they were looking at, but they weren't much help. It took me a long time to pinpoint the location of all the drama. I didn't understand why they were so interested in what was happening, so I just went to my classes. In class today, I was teaching my students the English words for "I'll Fly Away." At the end of our singing, someone popped in and said something to a boy who bolted out of the room. After most of the other students left, Kenson told me that the boy who left was running out because he had just heard his house had been broken. (I know most English speakers would say "torn down" but sometimes I get sucked into the non-native way of saying things.)

Until that point in time, the land dispute was just something to talk about for me. It didn't effect my life or family, so I didn't think much of it. All that changed as I left school today. Suddenly it is real to me. I know the people who are losing their homes. I know the faces of the ones who don't have beds to sleep in tonight. As I walked home, I could see the walls of those houses being pushed down. I could see the hopes and dreams of the men who built those walls come crashing down. My heart aches for the families who used to live between those walls, the families who now find themselves homeless and at the mercy of relatives or friends that might be able to take them in.

Please pray for my students and the families who have lost their homes this week. And pray for peace in Thomassin. Only Jesus can bring healing to this mess.

UPDATE/EDIT 2-28-13: My husband wants me to clarify that the buildings that were destroyed were only partial buildings. (But when they talk about them they use the word kay, which means house. How am I supposed to know they weren't completed houses?) Also, the people tearing down the houses had the right to do so. They even had support from the police in the form of road blockades to protect them while they worked. The people who built the homes don't own that land and were given the opportunity to make the situation right. Arold says no one is homeless because of the gwo machine.

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