As we were headed back home from our first trip to Africa on January 12th, my native Haiti was suffering a devastating earthquake. What followed was a couple of months of sheer depression. In fact, I think most Haitians were clinically depressed for a time, while many still have a hard time dealing with the dire reports coming out of Haiti every day. I’m planning a trip there this summer so have not seen firsthand what is surely a cause for despair; however, I choose to have hope. I may change my mind once I get there but for now, I have the luxury of looking at the forest, not living in the trees.
Like Americans still reeling from the catastrophic recession of 2008, those who face foreclosure and extended periods of joblessness don’t find any relief from optimistic reports that the economy is on its way out of the mess those bastard bankers created. Plus we have to hear about how the criminals are posting record profits every day. I read in the New York Times that in 2007 John Paulson made $10 million a day! (This is the guy whose company recommended those impossible-to-understand “financial instruments” to customers of Goldman Sachs, and then, knowing they would fail, bought himself some kind of insurance against them. Um, is that the same kind of insurance that cancels your policy once they have to pay on a claim? And, did they cancel his policy? If anybody really understands this joke, please explain it to me! I.e., what the hell is a “financial instrument?”)
Anyway, I was trying to make a point. People are impatient for a change of scenery when they’re stuck in quicksand. But change doesn’t happen overnight—never did; so we have to make do with that lifeline someone tossed us—the other end is tied to a tree, and it’s at least keeping our heads above the shifting sands. Not the best scenario, I know—it’s the rainy season in Haiti; and the jackals of debts are circling, waiting for us when we pull ourselves out of the sand—but we are still alive. And for that I am hopeful.
So hopeful in fact, that I finally found the motivation to create a new line of jewelry with the beautiful beads I purchased in Africa. The beads reflect my frame of mind these days: they are cheery, colorful, and they make me smile. Check out the new necklaces, which I call the Sweet Africa line, and let me know what you think!