november 2008 i was in haiti.  i was there for a day.  i would like to tell you i was there helping out the haitian people.  building houses, helping them, loving them.

i was on a cruise and one of the stops was labadee, haiti.  a private island that royal caribbean cruse lines had bought and owned. the local haitian people worked the island and maintained the land.  and waited on the cruse goers hand and foot, were so very gracious and spoke rather good english.

while there, i thought it was a pretty neat thing that royal caribbean had done.  by buying this island, they had provided thousands of very poor people housing, food and care.  they made a salary and also were able to receive tips.  not only did the people of labadee make all the cruise goers stay on their beautiful island a delight, they also had a market there on the island.  as much as i loved my stay there, and the sun did shine especially bright as to assist in my tanning adventures, i couldn't help but be saddened a little when as we were leaving on our luxury cruise liner that carried over 5,000 people with too much food, drinks and entertainment ever to be consumed - looking out from the deck was about ten or so local haitian people rowing their make shift boat home.  it made me sad, and it made me feel really spoiled, but at the same time i was feeling those emotions, i could not help but think they were probably joyous that they had a job, and were happy that we were there being spoiled on their island, because that gave them the money to support their families and buy the food they needed for nourishment.

sometimes life is a double edged sword.

i have been thinking about those faces i met, those eyes i made contact with, those brief exchanges of money and thank yous i made.  did they survive?  are they going to survive?  how are they?  where are they?

if i could go back i would.  not on a cruise this time, but maybe just to hold a baby, wipe a tear or smile at a stranger.

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