Tuesday, August 18, 2015
thank you, haiti
While visiting Port au Prince, Haiti in 2011, I was brought to an artisan village filled with talented people who spent their days hammering out art from used oil drum barrels. I paid the asking $10 for this huge "Tree of Life" piece in addition to a bonus $10 "just because" I felt it was the right thing to give. Today, these pieces are more easily available to worldwide consumers - offered through large companies who produce luxurious catalogs and employ designers on staff. They usually tag them as fair trade for prices well above $100, and it makes me wonder how much the original struggling artist actually receives vs. the large company.
But when I look at this piece... my piece, I remember the thankful man whose hand I shook and whose wife I hugged - both so happy I had come to support their family business. I remember their barefoot children playing nearby in the worst of conditions.
Later, I remember carrying the sharp-edged metal onto my flight home in a dirty blanket, hanging it on a wall of prominence in my home, and realizing just how blessed I live each day in a constructed house with a raised dry bed, with a refrigerator full of cold ice, with indoor plumbing, working electricity, nearby medical aid, and of course a place in my wonderful family.
I love this piece because it reminds me to have a heart for the post earthquake realities that are still present in Port au Prince and the poverty and displacement so easily apparent all over the world. Whenever I look at it, I am grateful for life and I want to love others more like Jesus.
So, thank you Haiti.
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