Archive for May, 2011

Fond-Parisien, Haiti

I’d like to introduce you to a region in the easternmost part of Haiti called Fond-Parisien. This area is home to the largest lake, called Lake Saumatre or Lake Auei, as well as the second largest lake in Hispaniola (after Lake Enriquillo). A slideslow below gives you a great visual of this region.

There is a lot of potential for development in this area because of the lake and proximity to the Dominican Republic. A resort is being built in Fond-Parisien that could transform the area by providing employment and bringing tax revenues. If these funds are used properly they could help improve the social well-being of local residents.

At the same time, you will see from the pictures that there is a lot of work to be done in Fond-Parisien. First, there is a lot of garbage near the lake and throughout the city. Second, the surrounding mountains are being used to take materials for construction, creating some unsightly views. Third, the main road has become impassible because of flooding from the lake. A new road or bridge may need to be built. Additionally, it seems the lake is expanding, and the need for a thoroughly planned comprehensive solution is evident. A drainage system, docks for boats, new walling are all items that may need to be put in place, similar to what was done in Gonaive. Finally, there are many members of the Haitian diaspora who are making their homes in Fond-Parisien. Most of these homes are on the mountains overseeing the lake. Without a infrastructure plan, this area could fall into disrepair.

Fond-Parisien does provide a wealth of natural beauty, so if you’re interested in visiting the area I can assist in travel arrangements for visitors. It’s just 30 minutes away from my birthplace of Croix-des-Bouquets, so I am quite familiar with the region. It’s a place of beauty and intrigue, which is why I’ve made it one of my adopted homes. Take a look at the slideshow to see more.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

May 30, 2011 at 1:33 pm 1 comment

The past doesn’t have to be linked to the future

For a long time, I thought that one of the things that motivated me was that my parents were dirt poor and I didn’t want to be like them. In my mind, this was the greatest motivator for me. So for many years during my adult life, my future was anchored and guided by the past; namely, the life of my parents.

I was liberated but the realization that I didn’t need to rely on my parents’ past to motivate my future.

Many people have managed to become successful despite a less favorable childhood  such as poverty, a lower social class or even abuse.  One possible interpretation is that human beings react differently toward the same event. For example, being attacked by a wild animal will cause some to be paralyzed by fears and others will feel adrenaline surge and have extra energy to run faster than they’ve ever run in their life. Hence, you could say that people like Oprah who come from a tough childhood were motivated by their past to “run” away from it to seek a better life.

I propose a different interpretation.

Recently I have come to realize that what has motivated me is this inner belief that somehow I didn’t have to be a slave of my past. It was important for me to learn that through my actions in the present I could control my future. In other words, my future depends only on the choices and actions I make in the present.

I am confident that many people who have overcome less favorable conditions would probably agree that what has made them successful is that they knew deep inside that they could control their future through their actions in the present.

At some point in life, we all face setbacks. Some start life with conditions that you would think would predestine them to be failures: parents who are alcoholics, drug users, controlling, abusive, poor, uneducated or worse, come to life without parents; siblings who were too smart that they could never measure up against; a village that was too small to offer any opportunity for success; limited opportunities for people with their gender or race in their culture. Even for people who come from a privileged background, at some point in their life they may have to overcome some daunting setbacks or failures such as loss of a close family member, losing a good job, a house or a business.

The good news is that past failures are not an indication of future greatness. What the present offers us is to make choices and take actions to reach the desired success in the future.

May 28, 2011 at 3:20 pm Leave a comment

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May 2011