25 October 2015

Sunday Not-so-Fun Day

It's Sunday in Haiti, the beginning of a new week. We are in the courtyard, Pete and me. He is showing off for the lizards. (We have friends. Really.) We are watching birds demolish the last of the fruit off the umbrella tree, tiny red berries that spiral upward on a long thin stalk. I am listening to Baby E, talking to herself in her crib upstairs. The breeze, the sound, it all passes right through the house here. I can hear her like I'm standing next to her crib, no monitor necessary. She's fussing now, resisting a morning nap despite our late-night parties at 9:30...then again around 11:30...then again at 2:00...I wish I could nap in her place. 

It's Election Day, the beginning of a new administration in Haiti. Church is cancelled for us, to encourage people to vote. It can take all day here. You show up at a polling place, wait in the long line. You finally get to the front...your name isn't on their list. Or someone causes trouble before you ever get there. There's no public transportation today, for reasons I don't understand. So you have to walk to another polling place or give up. That's what it's been like historically. This year, you can supposedly look it up online where you're supposed to be. But it's still so easy to keep the "wrong" people from voting. To keep the poor from voicing their opinions. All you have to do is put their polling place too far away from where they live, as it is for one friend I know. He won't walk ten miles each way to vote. Would you? 

We are stuck at home, but we like being home anyway. It's an unpredictable time to go out, because the different factions may try to prevent each other from voting by various violent means. On the other hand, the city power, which usually goes off by 6 AM, is still on at 9:00. I am doing laundry to make the most of it...and in the spirit of elections, which can be dangerous and unpredictable, I think I'll "live dangerously" as well. Instead of hanging it all up, I'm gonna...use the dryer.