Toilet

Our Barefoot School has not had a functional toilet since we moved in last summer. Hygiene is as important as food and knowledge, particularly in an environment like Cité Soleil which has been experiencing a cholera outbreak in recent months. We have many things to focus on at our Barefoot School.  Justin and Benoit wisely …

I Had the Blues

According to a recent report on Haiti from the World Bank – November 2022 – Haiti remains the poorest country in the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region and among the poorest countries in the world. In 2021, Haiti had a GNI [gross national income] per capita of US$1,420, the lowest in the LAC …

Core Message

Every Saturday morning, the Pray As You Go website presents an examen, a Jesuit tradition involving reflection on and moral evaluation of one’s thoughts and conduct.  I find this morning’s examen particularly inviting.  In it, I am asked, “If you had the chance to give just one sermon, what would be your core message in …

A Lesson in Bipartisanism

According to Wikipedia, ‘bipartisanship’ is a political situation in which opposing political parties find common ground through compromise.  As an adjective, ‘bipartisan’ suggests the agreement or cooperation of two political parties that usually oppose each other’s policies.  In today’s political environment, the word ‘bipartisan’ is tossed about like a cheap dinner salad thrown together as an afterthought with no commitment, no …

No Distractions

We are back in school.  Nothing has changed in Cité Soleil.  With no functional government in Haiti – the last 10 remaining senators in Haiti’s parliament officially left office on Wednesday – the country is left without a single democratically elected government official.  Meanwhile, the gangs continue to vie for power.  Gunfire erupted yesterday and …

Do You Believe in Miracles?

One week after we discussed the value of Abraham’s belief in our previous post, middle son Brad shows up at the house with a special gift.  Gifts are funny things.  You’re never quite sure how the receiver will take them.  With a few notable high-tech exceptions, Brad’s fairly good about giving gifts.  He knows that …

Abraham Believed Anyway

I have a special place in my heart for my 2011 book Tobit and the Hoodoo Man.  The book is about believing even in the most hopeless of circumstances, a situation most of us might confront at some point in our lives. The story I fashioned first occurred to me in 2010 when I read …

How Are You Doing?

When asked ‘How are you doing?’ I’m prepared with three well-rehearsed responses.  Which one escapes my lips is a crap shoot on any given day. “I’m fine.” – I discovered Etty Hillesum years ago as I researched my Holocaust novel The Hamsa.  My cousin Mary Ann from Indiana suggested I read the diary Ms. Hillesum wrote …

It IS a Wonderful Life

For 48 years, Mrs. tVM and I have watched the film “It’s a Wonderful Life” every Christmas season.  When we first viewed it in 1974, the film was a mere 27 years old.  That would be like watching “Braveheart” today; it doesn’t seem that long ago.  As we watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” last night, …