We are making great strides to meet our goal of $5,000 in contributions for Windows on Haiti in 2005. However, the number of contributors is still much smaller than we would have liked, which of course shows that our small subset of contributors have been very generous indeed.
If you were waiting for a good reason to participate, here's a good one:
On April 20, we will quietly celebrate 7 years since the launch of Windows on Haiti. It happened during a week of vacation in Charlotte, North Carolina at my sister's house. I developed the concept in my mind for only a day or so (I was highly motivated to counter all the negative images of Haiti, so prevalent at that time) and went right to work on it, never thinking once that the site would last all those years. My first host was Geocities, with a free
account. I announced the launch on the Corbett List on April 20 and began to receive entries in my guestbook the following day. As of today, there are 901 guests formally entered in the Guestbook, with more to follow shortly (I definitely want to close the book at 1,000).
From the very first day, I offered sections on Arts, Cuisine, History, and Essays ("From the Editor's Desk"). The forum would come almost a year later, after I received a call from Jean Saint-Vil (Jafrikayiti) who wanted to know if I would be willing to collaborate with REKA in terms of providing a forum where Haitianists could express themselves correctly in "Kreyol". With some trepidation, I answered "Yes" and truly, never looked back. Hence started my close collaboration with REKA which lasted a few years, until they were ready to launch their own website and forum (http://www.kreyol.org).
nOf course, whenever the subject of Haitian Creole or Kreyòl comes up, you know that the name of "Marilyn Mason" (the Haitian at heart and true American Ambassador for the Haitian Language) will inevitably follow. Hence started another strong and durable intellectual association, based on a shared foundation of emotional pursuit of what is good and just for the Haitian people. The associations with Jean Saint-Vil and Marilyn Mason have lasted to this day. Fowòm REKA on Windows on Haiti morphed eventually to Fowòm Kreyòl to Fowòm Ayisyen, and ultimately to its current multilingual format. Its initial strong emphasis on the Haitian National Language and its correct modern spelling (in accordance with the Ministry of Education's publications of its rules in December 1979 and January 1980) attracted a number of Creolists to our forum, such as Emmanuel Vedrine, Michel-Ange Hyppolite, Michel Degraff, Hugues Saint-Fort, Nicholas André, and many others. This early orientation of the Windows on Haiti forum can bes
t be seen with this url: http://haitiforever.com/bbs/index-kr-lng.html.
As you know, however, Windows on Haiti, has pushed hard in many directions, all relating to the rich culture of Haiti. Its literature section attracted notable contributions from Gina Ulysse, Marguerite Laurent, and Sabine Albert. Its music section received contributions from Markus Schwartz, Marie-Thérèse, our Guadeloupean friend Widy, and of course, our most prolific and dedicated associate, Serge Bellegarde. And we could go on and on, with articles on education from Nekita Lamour, religion from * Marie-Josée Saint-Lot, Jean Saint-Vil, Jean G
elin, Ezili and others *; top notch photography from * Maggie Steber, Tequila Minsky, Stephen Edgar, Elsie Surena, Randy and Marie-Jo Mont-Reynaud, and others *; political essays from * Claudette Werleigh, Marc-Arthur Georges, Manno Michel, Michael Diebert, Daniel Wolff, and so many others *; souvenirs/reflections on country life from * Jean-Marie Florestal, Caroline Anris, Bob Corbett, Gilles Hudicourt, and others *; economic development from * Antonia Malone, Patrice Backer, and others *; and on... and on... and on... and on.
Throughout, I have received the strongest support from my family (in particular, Chris and Claudette, Frantz and Frantz) and friends (from all over the U.S. and all the way to Denmark). Lately, the financial support from site devotees and Ann Pale members in particular has been generous, very significant, and highly promising. It speaks of your great appreciation for what we have been able to accomplish together, which includes my labor and your inspiration.
And above al
l, it speaks of our undying love for Haiti.
Windows on Haiti = Haiti Forever!
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