"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
-Oscar Wilde
Brilliant at Breakfast title banner "The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
"...you have a choice: be a fighting liberal or sit quietly. I know what I am, what are you?" -- Steve Gilliard, 1964 - 2007

"For straight up monster-stomping goodness, nothing makes smoke shoot out my ears like Brilliant@Breakfast" -- Tata

"...the best bleacher bum since Pete Axthelm" -- Randy K.

"I came here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubblegum." -- "Rowdy" Roddy Piper (1954-2015), They Live
Friday, January 15, 2010

Sadly ironic
Posted by Jill | 9:20 PM
While I was wondering tonight if cruise ships, which are capable of handling tons of cargo and which have tenders to ferry passengers to shore, in fact to Lababdie, Haiti, where many cruises port, were doing anything about Haiti relief, I stumbled on this article from February 2007:

Amid the Woe, a Haitian Paradise Beckons

There is Haiti, the poorest nation in the hemisphere. And then there is this slice of Caribbean bliss surrounded by security fencing with all-you-can-eat buffets.

This other Haiti has a stunning stretch of white sand between turquoise water and lush rolling hills. There are Jet Skis and beach chairs, and work is under way on a zip line that will send giddy adventurers across the bay on harnesses at heart-pounding speeds.

On a recent morning, Labadie was filled with several thousand people just off a Royal Caribbean cruise ship frolicking in the waves, bartering in the craft market and taking in the voodoo show.

None of them would experience Haiti’s rail-thin children, the mounds of garbage and open sewage dumps or the heavily armed peacekeeping troops struggling to keep a lid on the sprawling urban slums.

“It’s beautiful,” said Marlene Peacock, a tourist from Tobermory, Ontario, gazing up at the forested hills. “I didn’t know it was hilly.”

There is much that is unknown about Haiti, said Patrick Delatour, the optimistic tourism minister, who wants to turn his country, the world’s oldest black republic, into a full-blown tourist destination.

It's hard to imagine that ever happening now. The devastation, the human misery, the incomprehensible carnage of estimates of up to 140,000 dead, would appear to be the death knell of a nation.

Meanwhile, cruise ships continue to port at Labadie, which is on the opposite side of the island from Port-au-Prince. They are carrying supplies and provisions for the relief effort...and passengers are still pretending they are in paradise.

I know that Royal Caribbean is in business for profit. I respect what they ARE doing. I also know that converting one of those huge ships that holds multiple thousands of people into a floating hospital would cause the company to lose a huge amount of money. But wouldn't it be a wonderful thing if just once, a corporation did something that Wall Street would deem foolish -- simply because it is the right thing to do? Imagine how different the response of the people of Haiti would be to those who sun and dine on the beaches of Labadee if they had the memory of the behemoths that bring middle-class Americans who live a lifestyle they themselves can't even imagine having served as hospitals to save their children when they needed the help most.


Bookmark and Share
Anonymous mandt said...
"I didn't know it was hilly." "Now make that a double Voodoo Mai Tai." J.F.C.!