Thursday, January 31, 2008

Haiti, I'm sorry

NEVER have I been moved to tears while making a post to this blog. Until today.

With food prices rising, Haiti's poorest can't afford even a daily plate of rice, and some take desperate measures to fill their bellies. Charlene, 16 with a 1-month-old son, has come to rely on a traditional Haitian remedy for hunger pangs: cookies made of dried yellow dirt from the country's central plateau.

The mud has long been prized by pregnant women and children here as an antacid and source of calcium. But in places like Cite Soleil, the oceanside slum where Charlene shares a two-room house with her baby, five siblings and two unemployed parents, cookies made of dirt, salt and vegetable shortening have become a regular meal.

I own thirty cookbooks or more. One of them contains recipes for nothing but soup. Another is at least two inches thick, and has nothing but recipes for sauces. I have another which is solely about bread.

And these people are literally eating dirt.

AP story