I recently met some gringos at a dinner party. A truly fantastic bunch of folks. Between the pesto and the chips, conversation was abundant. It was a very rare, very good time.
There was a quiet and shy Haitian boy of about 14, sitting off to the side listening to his music on a tablet. He stayed pretty close to one of the gringos. I asked one of the gringas, “what’s his story?” This is more evidence that I need to curb my curiosity and keep my mouth shut.
The story went something like this:
The gringo met him a couple years ago. The child had no parents, whether they died or whether he was abandoned is irrelevant. He was alone living on the streets and not in school. Gringo took a liking to this street urchin and decided he needed to be in school. Somehow, some way, he’s paid for this boy to go to school and for his accommodation to live with his teacher. Bought him a bicycle to go to and from school … he helps him in many ways.
This pretty much tugs at your heart strings.
Then the gringa goes on to tell me, “it was his birthday last week but he (the boy) wasn’t sure what day, or, how old he was.”
This now rips out your heart.
This is not a unique phenomenon in 3rd world countries, especially for illegal migrants whether born here or in Haiti, with no papers. No papers equals no schooling and no a whole lot of no other things. It also means that even if there was a way home to Haiti to live with relatives, no papers means Haiti will not let them into their country.
While this is such a sympathetic cause, after living here for many years, after seeing so much fraud, and soooooooooooooo many cons from children and adults alike, from locals and foreigners, that little voice in my head tells me, “I wonder if this is just another con.” I sincerely hope not.
It saddens me that I have become so jaded. That I fully believe that in this country you cannot befriend anyone until you know them very well. That people can keep their true selves concealed indefinitely. You only ever know what they want you to know.
So, this is where I QUIT! Quit with the asking of questions, that lead to knowledge, true or perceived. Both are causes of distress. Distress that this may very well be true, or distress that may very well be just another con. Either way the common theme is distress. The sun set long ago on my innocence but I always had hope. That now too is fading.
Listen to the palms…
© Loca Gringa and https://locagringa.wordpress.com