Oh Dam.

5 09 2010

In Chapter 4 of Kidder’s book, he describes (in detail) his trek past the Peligre Dam, into the flooded area of Haiti upstream. This chapter honestly did not strike me in any particular way; it hardly stood out at all from the other chapters in the book. Kidder goes into description of the political and geographical aspects of Haiti for the most part; he talks about the decision made to build the dam on the Artibonite and the physical outcome of it. However, when he begins to describe the people living around the dam, I really started to pay attention. “We passed smiling children climbing steep rocky paths,” Kidder says, “…They were carrying water, in pails and plastic jugs that once held things like paint, oil, and antifreeze. The full containers must have weighed half as much as the children did, and the children had no shoes.”

This image really stirred something in my mind, something emotional. I could see the image of these pitiful children struggling under the weight of buckets of water. I began to actually picture what Kidder was seeing, experiencing, and the¬†disparity of Haiti’s situation began to sink in. The picture in my head of these children is sad and terrible. The imagery created by Kidder’s story inspires me to keep reading to find out if a situation as dire as the one on Piligre Dam could be fixed by a man such as Dr. Farmer.

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2 responses

6 09 2010
claireemariee

I was just as emotionally stirred as you, Bee when I first read Kidder’s description of the area around the dam. As I was reading, images that are fed to us as American citizens began to float around my head. These pictures are the ones we see in television commercials, you know, the ones with the depressing music in the background and heart wrenching photos. The entire story of how the people came to be is also as horrible as the conditions Kidder tells us they are living in. I agree with Bee that this description, although upsetting, makes me want to read more- to believe in Dr. Farmer and to see what he can do to help the incredibly impoverished people of Haiti. He is the light in the dark in this fourth chapter for the poorest of the poor.

6 09 2010
filousz

I totally disagree. I liked this chapter more than all the other ones. I really liked how they showed that the americans were trying to help or made it seem that way but were actually only helping the rich Hatians. And actually the dam just made things harder for the poor Haitians. I have never thought of helping a third world nation to be a bad thing. Its hard to judge how things will effect a comunity and i would have never thought that the Americans would actually make the problems worse than making things better. I was very shocked to how the Haitians look at the Americans and that they dont trust us due to the oil that the president sent them and the dam now.

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