Perhaps you understand this about fathers and sons: traveling with my father is one of the most frustrating, disempowering, irritating experiences of my life.
But he had just retired from four decades of teaching university students about poverty and development in the Third World.
Getting medicine for a weak-stomached tourist (me).
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In the midst of directing the driver of our Toyota 4Runner through traffic and fielding our questions, she picks up her constantly ringing phone to solve whatever problem is at hand.
Rea is quick to laugh and joke, but I sometimes sense a weariness behind it all.
The next day while driving to Canann, a settlement where survivors were relocated after the earthquake, Rea says to me, “There are some things here that are a historical trauma.” “Like what?
On the long drive one of our group asks about the paramilitary under twentieth-century Haitian dictators Papa Doc and Baby Doc.
Politics is no reality.” “We’re on a ‘reality tour’ to learn about ‘no reality’?
She has the patience of a saint and the organizational ability of an air traffic controller.
It looks to me, five years later, as though the quake hit yesterday.
The national prison, parliament building, thousands of schools, hospitals, all leveled.
” “Like always serving tea on a saucer.” “How is tea a historical trauma?
“Tell us about the death squads.” “You mean the Tonton Macoutes.” “Tell us about the death squads.
“Maybe it’s because I’m an academic,” he says sadly.