One of the greatest challenges in rebuiding Haiti is fighting the expectations. To some, the picture above is a picture of poverty. Women squatting in the street selling their meager wares surrounded by poor buildings. I fear that a lot of journalists would look at this image and see it as proof that Haiti is not being rebuilt.
But I know that this is a great victory. I wrote of my visits to this neigborhood last March. At that point, we had just started the rubble removal. I was thrilled to see how our work had transformed the neighborhood. And that is the challenge. If your starting reference is the scene below, the picture above is a beautiful success.
I am guilty of having written against the idea of just rebuilding the chaos. Now I recognize that reconstruction has to go through steps. Just removing the rubble was a huge victory. Getting the unstable houses demolished and the damaged ones repaired was another huge victory. We have to help people rebuild their lives before we can help them to build a new neighborhood.
We are continuing to move forward. We are working with the local leaders and the mayor to build a better Delmas 32. Little by little, the bird will build its nest.