Thursday, January 28, 2010

Birthday Girl

Happy Birthday to meeeeee!!
Today is my actual birthday and I must say I feel pretty good.
No lavish (love that word) plans today. So far I've spent the day lounging around, giggling at the Golden Girls, wondering why it had to snow today of all days, updating and my iPod and wishing I had freshly baked chocolate chip cookies to eat with some Breyers Butter Almond ice cream that's scooped into a pretty tea cup like this one below:

I will continue to keep it simple with dinner and a movie with the husband and a few friends tonight. So far, so good!

Ciao Chères!

P.S. I only have ONE birthday wish. Please donate to Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief. Details can be found here. Thank you!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Help for Haiti: A Little History

In the midst of all of the heart-breaking news and devastation in Haiti, I would like to share a wonderful article that a friend posted and sent via email. From a very young age, my parent's were sure to keep us informed of our heritage. Making sure that we knew where we came from and who we are was essential. Thiis article just brings it all back. It's a little lengthy, but definitely worth the read:

Since this disaster I'm sure you've noticed in the news that every other sentence used to describe Haiti are those such as "Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere" or "80 per cent of Haitians live in poverty" or " most Haitians live on less than a dollar a day". While these statistics may be true, it seems that the media seem hellbent on emphasising the facts about Haiti's poverty without mentioning their

role in how Haiti got that way.

Haiti was forced to PAY France for its freedom and independence. Yes you read right. PAY. When they couldn't afford the ransom, France (and other countries, including the United States) helpfully offered high-interest loans. By 1900, 80% of Haiti's annual budget went to paying off its "reparation" debt. They didn't make the last payment until 1947. Just 10 years later, dictator Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier took over the country and promptly bankrupted it, taking out more high-interest loans to finance his corrupt lifestyle. The Duvalier family, with the blind-eye financial assistance of Western countries, killed tens of thousands of Haitians, until the brave Haitian people once again rose up and overthrew them in 1986. Today, the Haitian people are paying off the debt of an oppresive dictator that no-one (including the oh, so gracious US government, who have no problem bombing the hell out of countries who have leaders whose interests don’t serve those of the US/West – remember Grenada?) would help them get rid of for 30 years. The rest of the world refuses to forgive this debt. Now these same VAMPIRES including the World Bank, France, and the US – are the first to line up saying they will offer ‘financial assistance’ to Haiti. Do you smell a rat? History tells us that everything they do has a catch, it is never done sheerly out of the kindness of their hearts. I recall last year seeing Bill Clinton in Haiti on the television talking about bringing ‘foreign investment’ into the country. The caption then showed him visiting a giant factory owned by a European, with hundreds of Haitians sitting in line sewing garments that they will never truly benefit from, financially or otherwise. This was clearly the ‘foreign investment’ Clinton was talking about. So let's look out for multinational contractors such as Halliburton and all the rest showing up in Haiti hungry for profit and cheap labour. I don’t know whether any of you heard Bill Clinton’s interview on CNN last night, but he clearly said that America would be working closely with the Haitian govt to "free the Haitian people after 200 years of misery", referring to the period since the Haitians freed themselves!!!!

Why is Haiti so Poor?

Between 1911 and 1915, seven presidents were assassinated or overthrown in Haiti, increasing U.S. policy makers fear of "foreign intervention". In 1914, the Wilson Administration sent marines into Haiti who removed $500,000 from the Haitian National Bank in December of 1914 for safe-keeping in New York, thus giving the U.S. *control of the bank* (and country!). In 1915, Haitian president Jean Vilbrun Guillaume Sam was assassinated and the situation in Haiti quickly became "unstable". In response, President Wilson sent the U.S. Marines to Haiti, claiming the invasion was an attempt to prevent" anarchy". In reality the Wilson administration was protecting U.S. assets in the area and preventing a possible" German invasion". The U.S saw Germany as its prime "competition" in the Carribean at that time. The Marines that were dispatched to Haiti came from Camp Lejeune, N.Carolina. Pres. Woodrow Wilson's statement to the press for being so "specific" in his request for this particular group was, "Southern white men will know how to deal with those Negroes!". Some say that the money that was taken from the National Bank in

Port-au-Prince actually totaled between 20 - 60M dollars U.S.! These same Marines actually robbed the National Bank, walking in fully armed and demanding the funds! Another important fact is that this money was not paper dollars, it was gold bullion! 1914 was the same year that WWI started and many countries began to move toward a Gold Standard that became final for the U.S. in 1933,when gold coins were recalled from circulation by the U.S. government. In 1929, a series of strikes and uprisings (dubbed the Caco or Chaco Revolts) led the United States to begin withdrawal from Haiti. In 1930, U.S. officials began training Haitian officials "to take control of the government". In 1934, the United States, in concert with President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Good Neighbor Policy, officially withdrew from Haiti while retaining *economic connections* that are still in place today. THIS REMAINS THE LONGEST MILITARY ACTION IN U.S. HISTORY!!! The clear fact is, the imperialist West, built upon a system of white supremacy, NEVER forgave the Haitian people for having the gall to free themselves from bondage. Furthermore, the idea of a strong, economically stable, independent African republic in the Americas was more than they could stomach and they did and continue to do anything in their power to prevent that from happening, using debt, political meddling and isolation as the main weapon. The achievements of the Haitian people and the Maroon movements also inspired a number of slave rebellions across the Americas. Make no mistake about it, Africans weren’t emancipated by others, they emancipated themselves. The abolition were little more than a response to the mass rebellions that were sweeping across the ‘New World’. Haiti started all that, and the Haitian people have been made to pay for their bravery and courage ever since. Now the Proud Haitian people are more vulnerable to the Western vampires circling around the nation than they have ever been.

While all genuine assistance to Haiti should be appreciated, and as well as continuing to assist our people in Haiti, we must monitor the actions of the US government and its Trojan Horse leader very closely from now on, as well as the French and all the other Western governments, who have had a 200-year score to settle with the proud people of Haiti.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

L'Union Fait la Force

There is a reason why when 2010 hit, I didn't make predictions or exclaim that it was going to be the "best year" or even "my year". I have learned in the past that God has His own plan, and nothing is really mine to claim unless he sends me His word.
Anything can come and rock your world and change your life forever. Yesterday, an earthquake rumbled through Haiti. My parent's country. A country that really didn't need another tragedy.

Some are wondering why "the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere" just can't catch a break. To quote President Obama, "this tragedy seems especially cruel and incomprehensible". Especially to a place that already knows all too well about hardship and devastation.
I'm wondering if this is a sign and a final attempt to bring attention to how much help Haiti so desperately needs.

This catastrophe affects me personally as my family and I are still waiting to hear from my grandfather who lives in Port-au-Prince. My heart and prayers also go out to those who are like us and are waiting to hear from their own family members and friends. I also want to extend my prayers to the Haitian residents who, though I KNOW are a strong people have seen better days. I am asking God to help us help you all.

Some heart-wrenching images via TwitPic posted by user @photomorel:

You can donate here through Wyclef's organization Yéle Haiti and also through the American Red Cross.

**ETA** After 2 days of waiting, hoping and praying, I am happy to announce that my grandfather has been found alive and well. He's a smart man who managed to grab his passport and meds before running out of his house that crumbled and is no longer. We're so grateful that he is OK are still praying for his continued safety as well as the safety & comfort of other Haitian residents! I won't stop doing what I can do from here!

And here, I share a personal message from my cousin that she posted via Facebook:

La situation ici est très dure, très compliquée et très douloureuse. J’ai des dommages importants, mais physiquement, je vais bien et ma famille aussi… J’essaie de mon mieux d’aider les victimes dans ma zone, mais ce n’est pas évident. Je vous remercie de tant d’attention. C’est le moment ou jamais pour nous, Haïtiens, de réapprendre à nous aimer et à rester solidaires. Je vous embrasse tous.

Translation . . .

The situation here is very hard, very complicated and extremely painful. I have suffered through much damage but physically I am well and my family is also. I am trying my best to help other victims in my zone, but it isn't easy. I thank all of you for all of the attention & support. It is in this moment for us Haitians to relearn to love & remain interdependent. Hugs and kisses to you all

Friday, January 8, 2010


I've been slacking on my blog again. With the new year here, I have been focusing my efforts towards other things, attempting to get my life back in order. Since I don't have much to report (for now), I thought I would borrow this "currently" post that I lifted from one of my fave blogs, SlowJamTherapy:

listening to: I Rather Be With You by Bootsy Collins

(one of my favorites. would love to hear Erykah Badu remake this song -- I think it would be insane!)

wearing: black scoopneck tee, grey boyfriend cardigan and my favorite h&m denim jeans

(no where to go, therefore no real effort made with today's wardrobe)

obsessing over: finding a J-O-B

(searching for a job is a job itself)

looking at: my computer screen

not doing: getting dinner

(. . .and I'm famished)

wishing: if i tell you, it won't come true ;-)

hoping: nothing but great things lie ahead

wanting: to win the lotto

(there's so much that i need and want)

craving: pizza!

loving: my new shoes from aldo.

using: blogger, twitter, iTunes, gmail and youtube