I didn’t realize I’d need a period of readjustment after returning to the U.S. from Port-au-Prince for the first time. Makes sense. In the time it takes to drive from New York City to Baltimore I went from six weeks of 24/7 fight-or-flight response (normal in a place where if you get sick or hurt, ain’t no ambulance or cops coming) to the All-American sense that all is right in the world.
I’m home, I thought, when I saw the pink-tiled roofs of the Miami city grid. Ambulances drive around down there. Cops patrol the streets down there. And when those two mess up there’re a couple buildings down there–City Hall, local news, law offices–that’ll welcome my complaints. Even if the founding fathers didn’t intend it, this society was built to have my back. In Haiti, for Haitians, it’s the opposite. That realization however–the difference between Haiti and the United States–is the least that I think about now that I’ve been home for nearly a month. I’m more taken by the disparities between Haitians (this includes foreigners with residences there).