Walls and Insignificant Thoughts

The roosters got going about 4.15am today – or maybe they had been going all night and I only began hearing them then. Either way, I couldn't go back to sleep so I took a shower and then sat on the balcony trying to pray, to think, to process this time. I wrote the following in my journal:

"I look outside at the metal gates and cinder-block walls topped by razor wire and broken glass and I try to see more – I want them to mean something. I want a profound and symbolic insight like others have had in such a place, but for me it just is. They are just walls – not the kind to keep puppies or children from wandering too far. No, these walls intend to keep people out – to keep my stuff mine or my life safe – built because that's what others around me built and/or out of fear that someone might take my stuff or violate me.

In the tent cities and "shanty" towns there is no protection like a wall – there is no space to delude one into thinking they control what happens around them…

I find it interesting that one of the first things that people with means have rebuilt post-earthquake are the walls – complete with fresh razor wire and broken glass.

See, that should mean something – that should lead to some profound insight about life, or our relationship to God, or our relationships to each other, or how we cope during/after a disaster… Instead, it's just a wall. Something to separate and divide and remind us that the world is not at peace… "

In a couple of hours we are supposed to go to Citie Soleil – the poorest section of Port-au-Prince. I wonder what that will be like… This afternoon we plan to finish the chicken coop and also train 30 men how to use the water filters we brought so their families can have clean water. More later…


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