Visiting Leogane: Earthquake Epicenter to become Center of Healing

James S. Gordon, MDHaiti0 Comments

By James S. Gordon MD

Visiting Leogane the day after the inauguration, we are plunged into the canyon between the promise and its fulfillment.  The city,  which was the epicenter of the earthquake, is desolate, a combination of “the hour before the shootout” in the Westerns, and a scene from after the Apocalypse. There are empty lots where once there were buildings; rubbish is thrown on top of rubble; motorcycles buzz around, but their riders are solemn.

CMBM-Haiti-Leogane-street-5-2011-300x225

We stop to buy Haitian CD’s and talk with a 30-ish man whose face looks frozen, who is standing near the rack. “Is this your store?”  I ask, of the tiny cabin.

“It is not mine,” he says, “but I built it.”

“What about your house?” I ask.

“My house was destroyed,” he replies.

“Did you lose family?” I ask.

“Yes,” he says, and slowly, deliberately, names them. “My brother, my other brother, my sister, my mother.”

 

CMBM-Haiti-Leogane-CD-stand-5-2011-300x224Around us, other young men stand like statues. Only when the music from the CD begins does anyone move. The young man who actually owns the store shuffles his feet and smiles a little. A couple of the other guys sing along with Belo.

We know we will be coming back to Leogane and working there.

To be continued tomorrow . . .

About the Author
James S. Gordon, MD

James S. Gordon, MD

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James S. Gordon, MD is Founder and Director of The Center for Mind-Body Medicine; Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Family Medicine; Georgetown University School of Medicine and author of Manifesto for a New Medicine, Comprehensive Cancer Care, and Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven Stage Journey out of Depression.

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