Posts Tagged ‘Haitian-American in Venezuela’

The ugly side of humanity

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Unless you were on Neptune last week, you heard about Venezuelan President Chavez’s death. I have to say I’m one of those people who quietly expected it,

angerbut was still shocked when the announcement hit the news. It has now been added to one of those events, like September 11th and January 12th, where you’ll always remember where you were and what you were doing when it happened.

After watching the CNN coverage for about an hour, I decided to see what was being said on the social media sites. Twitter was as expected with links from different sources and people talking about how Venezuela had changed (for better or worse) over the past 14 years. What surprised me was what I saw on Facebook. People were actually celebrating the President’s death. I mean literally expressing elation from the news. Who does that?! The worst part is that these people aren’t even Venezuelan. They don’t have any family who are Venezuelan. So explain to me how their lives could be so negatively impacted by President Chavez that they would actually lose their decorum. I was speechless.

I realized that these are people with whom I’ve had pleasant conversations. We’ve laughed together. Shared stories.And yet, we can disagree politically without wishing each other harm, can’t we? I’ve never felt comfortable with this macabre idea of “justice”. If I wished death on all the people on Facebook with whom I disagreed politically…and got my wish…well I would have a lot fewer “friends”. I have no other way to describe this experience other than sad. Our societies have come to accept this type of behavior and people don’t think twice about posting this ridiculous and hateful rhetoric for all the world to see. Just sad.

In the meantime, contrary to popular belief (or at least what my friends and family are hearing), what I’ve observed here in Caracas is respect from all sides. Businesses have observed the days of mourning and people are getting back to their regular activities. So in order to get back to a place where people show some decency, I simply get off of Facebook and walk outside. Who da thunk it :|

Year-in-review

Monday, January 14th, 2013

I remember January 1st last year, sitting near the pool at our hotel in Mérida (although it was about 60 degrees) and struggling to write my first post of the year on my iPad. It was important that I do it because I was convinced if I started the year out running, the motivation would stay throughout the year. That was one of the many lessons that 2012 taught me – motivation and doing are very different things.

I can’t say that it wasn’t a very good year. As always, I was blessed with things that I didn’t even know that I wanted. After visiting the snow friends in Boston and moving for the 3rd time in just as many years, I sort of rediscovered Caracas and realized that I was beginning to take its beauty for granted. Then for the summer, we went on a travel spree and visited Quito for the first time. The best part of the summer though was introducing my kids to my huge family in California.

20121231_123012The fall, which is always my favorite time of the year was more productive than I planned *yay, me!*. Although elections were expected to turn the country upside down, it was one of the best displays of the democratic process that I’ve ever witnessed. I then participated in National Novel Writing Month and was finally able to make huge strides with a book I started writing in 2010.

When I wasn’t dealing with the normal trepidations of being a Haitian-American living in Caracas, I actually had several epiphanies:

* Sometimes things (people, places, cultures) can only be classified as different. Not better than, less than, but different. In these cases, it is absolutely futile to try and argue said thing as more desirable or more valuable. Just accept the differences and if you’re fortunate enough to be able to choose, make your choice and keep moving.

* Unfortunately, bad people are a universal evil. I don’t think one culture has the upper hand in shortcomings. You will find North Americans and South Americans who lie a lot. Just as you will find Asians and Europeans who are very unreliable. On a personal level, it doesn’t matter what is socially acceptable, it matters what you are willing to accept.

* My family, the whole crazy lot of them, is awesome!

Okay, so maybe they weren’t really epiphanies. But, I’m tucking them away – especially that last one – in that deep corner of my  mind to be used whenever I start letting the petty things get to me.

Hope all of you have started 2013 how you planned/wished/desired and here’s to another great year!

Note: This picture is of a natural pool in Morrocoy – which is where we spent the New Year.

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