Danse Petro – Echoes of Confinement in Haiti

The Sage wandered down a dirt road in Ti Ginen, a section of Petit Goave, in search of what, he did not know.  He only knew that his steps carried him down this road for a purpose.  A motorcycle rode by with two passengers behind the one riding, a cloud of dust rising as it passed adding to the film that covered the houses lining the road.  Night was falling rapidly and a few clouds sat idly in the sky which was darkening rapidly.  As he arrived at a corner, the Sage noticed a young woman standing or rather leaning in the shadow against the post that supported the roof of the one story house.  In front of the house there was a porch that was empty and the woman looked at the street with a weary gaze.  Sage looked at her curiously, wondering what she was up to.

“Hello my sister,” the Sage asked in a friendly tone, “What are you doing here, leaning on that post?”

“- I could say it’s none of your business, but God asked me to be kind today.  And what about you?  What are you doing here?  I can see you’re not from around here, the way you’re dressed and all.

– I am a philosopher.  I’m searching for the reason people act the way they do.

“-You’re a what?”, the woman asked incredulously, ” If you mean why people do things you’ve come to the right place because people, especially men, are my expertise.”

-What do you mean?  And why are you such an expert?

-Because I’m a prostitute, and it is our job to analyze the men who lay on our bodies, if only to make sure we survive the encounter.”

The Sage looked at her dubiously, for he had never encountered a woman of the night who could teach him something and satisfy his quest for truth.

“So”, he said deliberately,”tell me more.”

“-okay Pops.  Here it is.  People rarely really think about what they’re doing.  They think that they are thinking, but in reality they are only reacting to stimuli the way they have been trained.  For example, when a man comes to me for pleasure, he is only reacting to his want which he has made into a need by his weakness.  The lawyer in court argues to defeat his counterpart; so all his actions are based on reacting to the information the court has agreed to allow in the contest.  So both of these lawyers are not really thinking, they’re reacting to stimuli.  A doctor goes to medical school to learn the human system so he can react to a stimulus which he receives via his examination.  It’s all learned in school but the learning is rote and not designed to allow individual thought.”

Sage looked at her this time surprised at the depth of her analysis. ” Keep going.” He said.

“-Man has not had an original thought since maybe Jesus Christ, Muhammad or Buddha depending on your beliefs.  We all go through training to become sheep in the farm, ready to shed wool for the farmers.  We are all prostitutes one way or another.  You see this is all a system where the world has become a giant farmhouse, a matrix of sorts, where everyone has his or her place in the fulfillment of the greater good, or some silly belief like this, vehiculated by the soul crushers.”

“So you think we all sell our bodies?”  Sage asked quietly.

“- I sell my body to men who come for some respite from the pressures they are enduring.  Than God they use rubbers nowadays, so I do not have to feel the sliminess of their putrid organs invading my garden.  After, I wash myself thoroughly to rid myself of their stench, scrubbing with lots of soap and detergent; and then I wash my body again.  You see, while they defile me I think of other things; this is real thinking, not some rote formula taught to us by people with no idea of what thinking really is.  I prostitute my body and I wash it after.  But what about youse who prostitute your mind.  Yes, you get a job, or a profession, and it is your task to sell your mind everyday to those who seek to destroy nature and the people living in it with their mad search for domination and fulfillment.  Do you wash your mind after every trick because I wash my body every time.  When you return home after selling your mind, how do you clean it from the dirt and grime of this society?  We are all part of this world that is heading toward destruction, selling our mind, bodies, skills and beliefs to this machine.”


In Haiti we continue living in the dark with very little electricity, anxiously taking precautions against Covi 19.   The health ministry was closed all last week as protesters demanded the ouster of the Minister Grete Roy.  Her office was locked up by protesters who are demanding their salary while accusing the minister of corruption and mismanagement.  At a time when the corona virus is threatening the population, the ministry is closed by protesters.  This past Thursday there was a sit in in front of the main hospital in Port-au-Prince, the UEH hospital known by most as the General Hospital. The hospital was supposed to be rebuilt and money was released for that ten years ago, but the Tet Kale government of Michel Martelly with Mrs. Duperval Guillaume as Health Minister diverted the funds and never built anything; so the site of the supposed new hospital sits dirty and abandoned.  In the meantime the hospital has continued to function temporarily for ten years across the street in the former Military Hospital which is where the protesters were.  The temporary site is dirty, full of garbage in the yard, and the smell is horrible.   In Petion-Ville the hospital Eliezer Germain closed its doors also last week because they do not have equipment to fight Covi 19, so the staff decided to shut the doors to protect themselves.  In Delmas, the staff of the Hospital La Paix is on strike because they fear the Covi 19 with no protective equipment available.  While all this was going on the President, the Health Minister and others in the government were on TV watching a plane land with supplies supposedly purchased from China to fight Covi 19.

variety of capsules and dragees on white marble countertop in studio
Photo by ready made on Pexels.com

The government has received some materials to fight the virus, but all the material is kept in warehouses at the industrial park.  Many of the boxes received were labeled vaccine, with no further description of the kind of material inside.  There are a lot of rumors running about Haiti being the testing ground for vaccines to fight Covi 19, so people are very suspicious of these boxes.  There are some masks being distributed by the government in some places, but the majority of people have to buy their own mask.  In the marketplaces many people are without masks and in public transportation things are worse, especially in the morning near the industrial park which has reopened.  Factories have been allowed to open which is creating a grave risk at a time when the amount of cases in Haiti is rising.   Those factories are not making masks and protective equipment for the Haitian population, they are making T shirts, panties and the few who are making masks for protection are selling them abroad for hard currencies.  There is no particular reason why only factories have been allowed to reopen, save for the owners needing money.   In Port-au-Prince water and electricity are scarce, at a time when both of these necessities are vital.  After three days of darkness if you’re lucky you may receive electricity for five hours top.  On May 1, President Jovenel Moise lied again by promising that in a few days the situation with electricity would be better.  Since then it has gotten worse if possible.  People are made to live in the dark, like in the early 1900’s with no one saying a thing.  it’s like the situation has become normal to live like animals at a time when we are threatened by this virus.

My next post will update us on the situation with agriculture and the fight for Martissant.  A march is planned for May 18 to rekindle the opposition to the government of Jovenel Moise, I will also talk about it, so stay tuned and subscribe, it’s free.









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