Expectations regarding reconstruction often disregard the normal pattern of rebuilding after disaster and basic construction timelines. So here it is, ten reasons why we should double down and renew our commitment to Haiti in 2012.
Haiti is not just "rebuilding" with cement and muscle. Haiti is "reimagining" a nation, with a bold vision and collective dream.
It would be easy to spend today reliving the tragedy of January 12, 2010, but if there is one thing I learned during my trips to Haiti over the past year, the best way to mark today's milestone would be to celebrate the progress that has been made.
Two years ago, President Obama promised the people of Haiti: "You will not be forsaken. You will not be forgotten." From what I've seen, working with those already in Haiti who have a record of getting things done is the only way the United States can fulfill that promise.
To place blame solely on the earthquake is to miss the political and historical underpinnings of poverty in Haiti.
More than simply recalling the day, it is important that we quite literally re-member -- that we reconnect and attach ourselves again to that part of the body of humanity that was severed.
We are all diminished by the reality of the situation in Haiti. Reconstruction has been painfully slow, funds promised by other nations have not yet been paid or paid in full, and many, many people still live in tents.
It's hard to believe it's been two years. When the earthquake struck Haiti, it had a ripple effect that changed countless lives, including mine. I've discovered a new purpose, to be an ambassador -- a cheerleader -- for this country.
Hope, as theologian N.T. Wright says, "is a mode of knowing, a mode within which new things are possible, options are not shut down, new creation can happen."
Anyone who has lived or worked in Haiti for any length of time is bound to be asked if Haiti is hopeless. That will certainly be the case this week, when Haitians commemorate the second anniversary of the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake.
This notion that God caused this earthquake as a good thing for the people of Haiti is troubling theology. Where is that "good thing" in the midst of the suffering?
As Haiti returns to the mainstream media this week to mark the second anniversary of the quake, let's remember the spirits.
Insider Images photographer Stuart Ramson was dispatched to Haiti to document some of the initiatives being carried out as part of the rebuilding process, which most notably features the creation of 300,000 temporary jobs by the UNDP to deal with debris removal and garbage collection.
Before and since the earthquake in 2010, Haiti has faced great challenges -- ones they are working to confront and to lead the international community in helping them solve.
As an NGO representative said, "This is the single biggest disaster that came, and it came after the earthquake: the way aid was distributed destroyed the family."