Thursday, 21 January 2010


In my previous post, I mentioned my impending trip to the Dominican Republic. Mack and I go on a "beachy" trip every year about this time, through work. It would be a strong statement to say that we are "forced" to go, but it would be an accurate statement to say that Mack has to pay for it whether we go or not. The destination was decided about 6 months ago, and I have already vacillated between being excited and feeling guilty. Excited because, hey, it's a week on a beach with my husband and I love to travel to new places, but guilty because I know what a poor country it is and I always feel like a rich, spoiled American going to places like that on a vacation, rather than a mission trip, etc. Going frivolously to a destination where I know a group from our church is going on mission trip in a few months really hangs on my conscience.

My guilt has escalated to a whole new level since the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti last week. I googled it, and where we are going is 400 kilometers from Port-au-Prince. I feel so bad about spending a week on the beach when so many so close by are suffering, rather than doing something to help. Part of me wants to just not go, part of me wants to trek across the island to hand out food, water, and clothing, and part of me realizes that going maybe does help in a very miniscule way. I read a statement from the D.R.'s minister of tourism, who said that they were strongly urging vacationers not to cancel their trips, that tourism helps the D.R.'s economy, and if the D.R. is strong, it can help neighboring Haiti. But I'm not sure that that really puts my conscience at ease...

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