Haiti: What to Do with a Nation of Amputees
From Time Magazine
"...'People are going to think I'm a freak. I wanted to be an electrical engineer. How will I ever get a job now?'"
"...Still, even Mary is more sanguine about change, given that victims like him and Boulevard are now far less alone in Haiti. "People will be forced to think about it," he says. Mary was one of only five among 16 engineering students in his classroom who survived when the quake sent their five-story university building crashing down on them. But he also realizes that many postquake amputees like himself are educated — and that they can be part of the solution, perhaps as prosthetic designers. "I know that I can still be a good electrical engineer," Mary admits. And Haiti can't afford to ostracize any engineers right now."
Sanguine, indeed. Imagine that, just when we think we have read everything under the sun, there comes yet another blow to our lethargic routines. Never did we think that there was opprobrium to be heaped on the disabled in the earth-shaken nation.
Not so strangely though, dear writer, have you not noticed that only recently in your country, Brazil, changes are being incorporated to accommodate the needs of the wheelchair-bound? Hopefully, we will get to a point where they are driven about by those snazzy vehicles we often see in the United States where the well-off, physically handicapped can be as independent as they can possibly wish.
Meanwhile, in tropical lanes and byways, they will have to do with giving themselves and "arm forward" for they are far from that dream. It's a beginning, however.
Now, in the country mentioned in this article, where we imagine things aren't quite as "developed" for want of a better word, it's understandable that people should despair and be at a loss, literally, for their future.
Again, sounds horrible to say so, but tragedies have their day in court and who knows they might teach a collective lesson and people might just as well regard their fellow Human Beings with more compassion and long-suffering now that the cataclysm has rammed these bitter pills down their throats.