… number 2
From the air Haiti looks like a piece of scrunched-up brown paper thrown into a gloriously blue sea. On the ground the eye candy of contrasting colours turns rotten. Haiti is grim and the senses revolt. The brown colour is eroding hills, top soil pouring into the ocean. The smell of garbage and sewage is pungent. The noise is traffic and pain… little joy except on Sunday’s when the dozens of tiny churches perfume the air with hymns. It feels hot, sticky, deadening. It feels abandoned.
The capital, Port au Prince, is number 4 on the hell hole list… and I haven’t been there since the January 2010 earthquake, which undoubtedly made things even worse.
Over decades dozens of NGOs, hundreds of well intentioned people, thousands of schemes, plans, projects, reports, hundreds of thousands of meetings, flights, interventions and millions of dollars… it all seems to have leached into the sea along with the soil.
Port au Prince is the only place on earth where hope is a refugee living somewhere in an IDP camp elsewhere.