Just got word the guy I know was released in Haiti, thank God! I had blogged about it last week, then removed the blog b/c I was paranoid that someone might read it, think he's associated with an author (money? sure, right, but they don't know that) and jack up the ransom. You'd be shocked at the connections these people have...and how fast they can move...
It happened right in the middle of a church service. Sickens me. Kidnapped at gunpoint, but he's okay now and home. He had stayed in Haiti because he couldn't bear to leave his country. I remember him saying how he was thinking about moving to NY, where he had some relatives.
I wish he had.
Haiti hasn't gotten better, only worse, in the 13 years I've visited there, worked there, raised money to help people. I try not to get discouraged, but it's so damn tough some days. I try to focus on the bright spots, like the girl in our orphanage who is now in an international baccalaureate program in Europe. I have high hopes for her. Maybe she'll be the one to help bring about change. In the meantime, what else am I going to do? Quit my job? Do nothing?
Doing something is better than doing nothing because at least I know the tiny seeds I'm helping to sow, like in our orphanages, can yield good fruit. Even despite all the rotten apples, the ones who have turned kidnapping good, decent people into a profession. Resume: Kidnapped xxxx people in xxx amount of time. Good with threats and guns.
I was going to spend the weekend working on the WIP, but the news of the kidnapping, a neighbor's house burning down last Wednesday (she's elderly and lives alone and is now homeless) and Tia getting sick again left me drained. I needed a break. I gave myself permission NOT to write. To mull over ideas, think about my hero's POV and his emotional character arc, and where the story needed to proceed. I think I have it now. I feel the itch to write, which is great.
I love writing romance, crafting worlds and relationships, in which love and a happy ending are guaranteed. Too bad it doesn't happen always in real life. Were I to write Haiti's happy ending, it would include a world without AIDS, slums overflowing with raw sewage where children play barefoot, mothers sobbing as their children die from starvation and the blank, empty hopelessness I've glimpsed in soft brown eyes.
My happy ending for Haiti would be the orphan in school, learning English, burning with the desire to better herself so she can, as she told me, "Go back and help my country." There is hope there. There is.
Maybe she will.