Art Matènwa — haiti

We are back from Matenwa with our eyes and hearts filled with the magic of Haiti

Since our return from Haiti this summer I’ve gotten many concerned questions about whether we got the mosquito-borne Chikungunya virus that’s infected so many thousands of people in Haiti. Thanks to the intrepid Arielle Berrick we were so swathed in Deet products that the mosquitos sent out an S.O.S whenever we breezed by. Thus we remained virus-free. Which almost didn’t seem fair. Nearly all of the artists, nearly all of Matenwa, had gone through it. People would laugh a rueful JUST- you-WAIT laugh when we said we’d ducked it so far. The artists were still lethargic and feverish, with ongoing arthritis-like pain in their joints, so we didn’t press them hard, but still we managed to make some fun prototypes...

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Valentine's Day

I've been trying to explain the point of Valentine's Day to the 2 11-year-old girls from Matènwa, Haiti who've come to live with us on Cape Cod.  This year was their introduction to all these "firsts". Their first bike ride, first Hallowe'en, first class filled with white kids, first snow, and now, first love holiday. They are completely baffled by the idea, wracked with guffaws. You mean you give love letters and presents to folks who are not even your boyfriends!? I reminded them that there are many kinds of real love: love for mothers, best friends, animals, home towns, love of oceans, of learning, of all that's good in the much love to send out.   They're still puzzled...

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