Friday, March 18, 2016
Daylights savings in Haiti
Learning and writing about the many ways women in Haiti work together in an ancient network of survival and dignity within a community of friends and family.
On Saturday night, coming back from a walk to see the sunset, we reminded ourselves about the time change the next day. But when Sunday came, the big news was that the interim president had decided to not follow the daylight's savings time change. It seems the last president had declared Haiti would follow day lights saving but this president has said, "no."
"What time is it?"
"This president's time or the last president's time?"
Still most people, rise before the sun and walk to their gardens or to the markets or to school with no regard to clocks. The roosters crow with increasing intensity as dawn spreads across Haiti. Life proceeds within an ancient dance of dawn and dusk with no regard to the debate over daylights savings and US time.
We hear singing and the sweeping of the yard. Children walk to collect water. Animals are led to market. The women call to each other on the road.
I ask the students, at the midwifery school, who all arrive at different times, what they think. I explain why the US has daylights savings to help the farmers.
"The farmers work when it is cool here. They get up in the dark and are finished by the time it is hot."
"You cannot save daylight, like its money."
I too, get up in the cool, dark of early morning. Apple is suppose to change our phones and computers for us but they cannot keep up with Haiti's presidential elections and decrees and so they stick to US time. The clocks break.
Within this, we all keep moving through day and night and dawn and dusk. I try to feel time, like I imagine the women do; in the sounds and in the touch of my skin and in the way the air smells. I sleep outside so I can feel and hear the time.
A person I met says, it is not that the women want to live outside of time and clocks. They have no choice so they create, within the structure they are given. It is brilliant, she agrees. But it is brilliance born of repression and necessity and not choice.
I wonder if brilliance, born of necessity, is any less brilliant or does it shine brighter for its journey.