I told my advisor Monday that I am going to do two things this semester: “Stop going to meetings and get off the internet.” For my own personal health, I have to keep my previous New Year’s and autumn resolutions to have at least 6 hour sleep. For those of you who write, you know it takes a lot of time to put your thoughts together. “Se pa annik voye monte konsa.” Whether I go to the internet or not, I still have to prepare my students’ lessons, do the school assignments in addition to take care of a house, children, go shopping, go to parents’ meetings, and everything else in a 24 hour day.
Seeing these messages today, I can’t stop to add my own. I have said it privately to Guy how much I appreciate his site, especially when I am overseas. For some reasons, I have a hard time getting to “AOL” when I am outside of the United States. The last time I was in France or West Africa (Beni
n, Dakar, Togo), they charged per page. It got to be expensive. Haiti was H$5 for 1/2 hour or H$10 for an hour which wasn’t bad.
To be honest with you, I have a hard time understanding directions "send", "forward", "attachments", "copy", "cut and paste" in French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese in cyber space. I tried to sign up to AOL last summer in Haiti, believe me I got something in Greek or some non-Roman alphabet. If I can’t figure French directions out, one can imagine my reaction. There is always something in Haiti to keep you laughing. That’ s why people in the field of psychology can’t make a living in Haiti. How in the world I got Greek or some non-Roman alphabet trying to get into AOL? I called the lady who worked there. She said she had never heard of or seen AOL site. AOL is not that common in Haiti. People use “yahoo” or “hotmail” in those cyber cafés.
I can sympathize with Lionel and many others who are far away from home for a long period of time. I am only far away from my a
dopted home temporarily. I know how it feels like. Even if you are at home in Haiti, unless you are in Port-au-Prince, you run into those guys selling newspapers, you don’t get international news and substantial information on Haiti. So “windows” is personally more accessible.
There are sites that have too much commercial. Some ask you to limit the number of words which require much more time and much more mental energy. I simply don’t like the quality, the theme, or the focus of some other sites.
Like Jaf said, it’s becoming more like a family. I get a little upset at those who just read and don’t contribute. I am not happy either that the mass who are listening to the radios and watching TV don’t have access to these kinds of insights. What does it take for a radio or TV host to simply print some pages and read them on the radio for their audience, or social service agencies to leave them in their waiting room and write in big letters "Li pandan wa p tann nan." “Read while waiting.”
In regards to plain “observers”, I have people who told me they are saving their writings for their books. I told these people that Jaf published a book and contribute frequently. I write in the paper also. I now have a monthly column. I intend to write a book one day which many people have told me to. I do have manuscripts. But I don’t want to self-publish. I still contribute to WOH and other discussion lines. Ezili is a busy, very involved, very engaged lawyer. Though she has not written for a while, but she makes her voice heard. Empress makes very thoughtful insights. We are about 10 to 15 people writing, except Pistach whom I haven’t read his/her post yet. Where and when had he/she written?
I have seen sections like the political issues with more than 1,000 hits. One of the topics on Mary and the Third World had 350 hits, but not one comment. Others say if you write, people will take your ideas and won’t give you credits, or make a book, or do their own thing out of your ideas. My respons
e is I can’t do everything that I think of. One phenomenon I notice in the Haitian communities is those who are doing whatever they are doing don’t consult or work with those of us who are “thinking” and writing. One of the sentences in a long quote I read in Le Nouvelliste recently that resonates that attitude is "La distance entre l’écrivain et les lecteurs est la même distance entre le ciel et la terre.” “The distance between the writer and the readers is equal to the distance between the sky and the earth”. This quote helps me when I feel not understood, not liked in some segments of my community.
Guy again “Thank you for using scientific innovations to give space to those of us who have no way to communicate our thoughts and love for a better Haiti or more vibrant diasporic communities, more emphasis on education, on learning and give the youth a space in the community. Thanks a million for the “virtual” home you have provided to those of us who have no home or community to call our own. Th
ank you for being a member of this virtual family that we can go to at any time of the day or night, and anywhere in this planet.
P.S: Our verbal gratitude is wonderful. However our financial contributions will also be helpful to keep the site going.