Larry (Mulligan), if you’ve been on this blog for a...

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Reply to Msg 13258

Larry (Mulligan), if you’ve been on this blog for a while, then you know that there are two groups of people that I detest.

One is the Preval government group, the other is all the different groups of people who call themselves missionaries.

There are no words that suffice for me to describe my revulsion when I think of anyone connected to the corrupt, depraved, heartless thieves who form the Preval government.

As for missionaries, all my research of their history with nonwhite people shows that their interactions have never really had any positive impact.

In fact, historically, missionary actions have had the effect of not only keeping people in poverty, but also turning previously independent struggling individuals into welfare parasites.

This should come as no surprise if one understands that missionaries would have no mission if in fact they were successful at making people independently self-sufficient.

So, for me, the whole concept of missionary aid leading to self sustaining individuals is an oxymoron.

That being said; I learned to appreciate your clarity of thought from our exchange on the blog. You seem not to be totally corrupt, as are so many who pretend to want to help Haiti.

So, this is my advice to you:

1. Before you do anything, make any decision, or start a project, I suggest that you spend several months learning the language.

I don’t just mean learning how to say basic words.

I mean learning to understand what certain words really mean. Understanding the language means you have a chance at understanding the culture, as culture is fundamentally expressed in linguistic nuances.

Knowing what the local people are really trying to tell you, as opposed to what they appear to be saying, can make the difference between a project’s success or failure.

2. Before you do anything, make any decision, or start a new project, you should spend several months listening.

In particular, you should listen to the very old and to the very youngâ€"and when I say young, I mean the children.

They often have knowledge of what the region’s people are gossiping about.

As the local grownups rarely pay attention to them, they often hear more about what’s going on than most other people in the region.

The kids will know if the adults think your project is foolish, but just going along with you because of whatever they will get from it personally.

The kids will know because the adults don’t pay much attention to them, so they get to hear all sorts of conversations.

TheThe very old seniors are also very helpful in figuring out what will or will not work. They have seen it all. However, getting kids and seniors to trust you is in itself an art.

3. Three; learn the written history.

What were the mistakes of your predecessors?

I guarantee you that you’re not the first nor the twentieth missionary to try to do something in that region.

There are several reports written each year about the various failed foreign aid projects on the island.

Perhaps, by understanding the failures of those who came before you, you will not make the same mistakes (I doubt it, but one can hope).

4. Last, and most importantly you must remember the real essence of that quote that we both like so much, â€"do no harm.”

Linda, February 14 2009, 8:06 PM

Topic: 1st time traveler to Haiti solicits advice!

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The best advice that I have for you is to contact FONDWA. Click:. They have a lot of experience with subsistance... read more >
Greg Peters, 10-Feb-09 4:33 pm
Thanks, Linda - get your rest, and if you have the time and energy, I would value your thoughts. And I hope there are... read more >
Larry Mulligan, 10-Feb-09 8:56 pm
Dear Larry; I commend you for your attempt to gather various forms of advice before you attempt to move forward. I am... read more >
Linda, 10-Feb-09 9:38 pm
Tiba - Thank you for your thoughts & suggestions. I agree that it is our friends who will have the major say as to... read more >
Larry Mulligan, 10-Feb-09 11:08 pm
Larry, You're welcome! Just remember to always adhere to the concept of the helping theory "Doing WITH them instead of... read more >
Tiba, 11-Feb-09 8:31 am
Thank you, again, Tiba, for the good advice. I agree about not expecting anything but being open to all that comes... read more >
Larry Mulligan, 11-Feb-09 11:41 am
Larry (Mulligan), if youaE™ve been on this blog for a while, then you know that there are two groups of people that... read more >
Linda, 14-Feb-09 8:06 pm
Linda - Thank you for those very sobering thoughts. Unfortunately, my personal circumstances do not allow the luxury... read more >
Larry Mulligan, 14-Feb-09 9:00 pm
I understand that you are a member of missionary organization called Holding Hands missionary organization; How are... read more >
Linda, 14-Feb-09 9:39 pm
Holding Hands w/ Haiti is the name we gave our parish group when we entered into the twinning relationship w/ the... read more >
Larry Mulligan, 14-Feb-09 11:29 pm
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