Posted by: jevcat | January 12, 2011

Haiti Thoughts

It’s a year since the earthquake in Haiti, and a friend-of-a-friend blogger who is working there asked others of us who blog to honor the day and the people still struggling there by dedicating a post today to Haiti.  I wanted to write something profound and moving – God knows the situation there is both – but only two things keep going around in my head.

The first is the rather hackneyed thought that whatever troubles seem so overwhelming to me right now (all the “un”s:  unemployment and the things that go with that in the long term:  unpaid rent, unpaid bills, etc.), by the standards of many, perhaps most, folks in Haiti I am incredibly wealthy – and I know I am, by their standards materially, and by any standard in all those intangibles everyone sometimes takes as much for granted as those of us in wealthy countries take our standard of living for granted.

Being a big Fred Astaire fan, the second, idiotically enough, is a song and dance number from the 1951 movie Royal Wedding (music by Burton Lane, words by Alan Jay Lerner):  “I Left My Hat in Haiti.”  Royal Wedding (called “Wedding Bells” in England) has absolutely nothing to do with Haiti – it is set in London at the time of Princess (now Queen) Elizabeth’s wedding to Prince Philip – but the plot involves Astaire and Jane Powell as a brother-sister song-and-dance team and includes some scenes that are meant to occur as part of their shows, allowing the writers to throw in non-sequiturs like “I Left My Hat in Haiti.”  (In addition to Astaire and Powell, the movie stars Peter Lawford, and – astonishingly – Winston Churchill’s daughter, Sarah, and is best known for Astaire’s famous dancing on the ceiling number.)  I never really liked “I Left My Hat in Haiti,” which seemed a little silly to me, but today I can’t get it out of my head.









[The only video clip I could find of it is of poor quality but can be viewed at ]

So here I sit, trying to work on my job search, that blasted silly song recycling in my brain, tired and still cold from having dislodged last night’s snow from my own car and that of an older neighbor, listening to the whistling wind contradicting the look of sun and blue skies outside my window, and thinking of a place where the sun and blue sky are accompanied by warmth, lush plants, a sparkling sea, a rich heritage, and what sometimes seems bottomless misery.  The place and the people deserve better, and deserve not to be forgotten, so I offer the only thing I can right now:  my prayers for them and the folks who are trying to help.


  1. Lovely, Janet–
    I hope you’ll head over to Kathy’s blog and leave a link there in the comments section back to this…she’s been so thankful to read everyone’s words today, in honor of the 1-year anniversary.

  2. Thank you so much for this post, Janet! Truly! And thank you for your prayers–your caring means an enormous amount. Thanks for joining our chorus–bloggers who have heart and want to make a difference in the world. Words are such a powerful weapon against poverty! I truly can’t thank you enough!
    Hugs from Haiti,

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