Saturday, February 18, 2006
Do you guys see the resemblance? I do and it’s uncanny and a bit scary. The man on the left is Rene Pre.val who just won his second stint as President of Haiti. The man on the right is my father. My dad and Rene Pre.val were roommates in college but haven’t really kept in touch over the years. When Preval first became President of Haiti in 1996, my dad and stepmother went to Haiti to attend his inauguration. The fact that he immediately asked my dad where my mom was is a whole other blog.
My dad was living in Haiti trying to drum up his own political career as an independent in the late ‘90s when he would occasionally meet Pre.val for lunch or drinks. One day while having lunch a man approached them and was momentarily confused regarding which man at the table was the president. Although my dad was amused, I was frightened when I heard that story. I’m not sure how much you know about Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere but there has always been instability and violence and no one is immune.
The phrase “stray bullet” “balle marron” in Creole, is so commonly used to explain the majority of the killings in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince. What scared me the most wasn’t that my dad could be murdered as a result of a stray bullet while in Haiti but that he could be mistaken for Pre.val if someone was attempting to assassinate the president. Although life is uncertain I’m just happy that my dad is safe and sound and no where near the uncertainty and chaos that is Haiti in 2006.