Looking Through the Window

 

A majority of the traveling we have done in Haiti has been in vans
provided by one of our partner schools, CFFL, and near the end of my
internship, after many hours in these vans, I began to notice a
peculiar affect arising from this mode of transport. We drive around
in a sealed off bubble of air conditioning and English, while the rest
of Haiti carries on sweating, working, and surviving. This is how I
began to view the scenes passing by, as a distant yet intriguing
world. My van bubble allows me to view this uncomfortable and foreign
world with a certain intimacy that makes engagement nonessential, and is
supported by my comfortable and distant point of view.
On the other side of my window, I often wonder what the passing
Haitians think of me. To them I am just another foreigner in their
country, here to help, but not to help them. A passing face filled
with feigned curiosity. This glass pane transforms a distance of a few
feet to hundreds of miles, with the space in between entangled with
cultural, linguistic, and economic differences.
Yet despite our contrasts and separation, I love driving through
Haiti. I love seeing the unabashed, public, and forward encounters
that thrive in the streets. Although we are seemingly working against the guards we have ourselves imposed, I believe we are eager to connect with one another, to know
one another, and to learn about one another. The relationship is not
one way, and we both must shatter the window that keeps us apart.Photo By Chris Hornsby

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