The Pretty Side of a Third World Country – Pétion-Ville, Haiti (Commonplace 4)

In the midst of our class starting research and going out to our chosen locations to certain parts of the D.C. area and immersing ourselves for our upcoming paper,  I started to feel a bit nostalgic in thinking where I came from. To start I should say that I’m Haitian, born in General Hospital in Petionville and raised in Delma 71 a cute quaint little residential neighborhood in Port-au-Prince. I have always had such pride and love for the country in which I came from. Even as a young kid, there was always excitement in knowing I could go back and truly feel at home the second my feet touched the island soil (as cliche as that sounds). However, as I grew up and started understanding how the world works I knew that not everyone had the admiration and love that I had for Haiti. Then in 2010 after the earthquake, I started to feel this great inferiority. Since it was known that I was from Haiti I had a lot of people coming up to me and asking questions that were ignorant from my perspective. Such question included, “Are there schools in Haiti?” “Do you live in a hut when you go there?” “What do you eat when you go there – is there enough food for you and your family?”

I quickly realized whether it be my friends, acquaintances or strangers their unintentional ignorance, curiosity, and questions that followed such thought processes were because of what was shown to them through media about Haiti. They didn’t know that there was more to this third world country. I won’t sit here and try to convince anyone that Haiti as a third world country does not have its fair share of problems when it comes to politics, social economic status among other things but as a native to that country, I can tell you first hand that there is more to it. When answering such questions I would roll my eyes and tell them that Haiti has schools, that I lived in a house and there was enough food to go around. But I would always follow and talk about the beautiful people, places, and sounds that are common to the island. It’s so funny to see that when it comes to third world/impoverished places – all people usually see are negative. They have don’t have the ability to truly see the entirety of such places,  because based on the pictures and stories we see – we just feel bad for that place and come in with a mindset of needing to fix and help and not truly learn and appreciate the location first.

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