I’ve mentioned before that I often feel guilty here, given that people in many parts of this country aren’t in the best shape (economically, politically, etc) yet I live in a comfy house with guards, WiFi, fans, meals, etc. Going along with that is a new-found awareness that I’ve acquired here. I find myself doing things here that I might not do back home. For example, every time I leave a room, even for a second, I’ll flip the lights/fan off. Back home, I try to turn the lights off, but my bedroom fan is on 24/7. I never throw away any food here, whereas at home if I don’t like something, I might toss it in the trash. I’m currently sitting in the office with the light and fan off because I can see perfectly fine (although it is a slight pain with the mosquitoes just swarming around by me–the fan keeps them moving away from me). Honestly, I don’t shower as much, and when I do, it’s not a ten minute thorough shower–it’s turning the water on and off trying to conserve it.
This is not to say that when I’m home I waste everything with no abandon. Especially when I was living on my own, I’d try to keep costs minimal by not leaving lights on and not wasting food. But there are other things I do here, too, that would never cross my mind, like I’m always running around unplugging small appliances that aren’t in use, like the toaster, coffee maker, or microwave.
It’s great that I’m doing these environmentally-friendly small things, but it’s interesting to me that just being here gave me that awareness. I was talking to Visitation Hospital’s Rose about this (I really need to separate these two because there’s a Rose that works at PeaceCYCLE and there’s a Rose who works at Visitation Hospital in Ti Riv and comes here most weekends). She agreed that she, too, had an innate awareness of conservation and the “go green” philosophy had taken over. Which, again, is great! It’s just interesting to me that back home, it’s kinda “whatever” because we can take things for granted, whereas here it’s not that way at all. I am so blessed that I do have these things that send me running around to conserve energy, such as a microwave, fans, and lights, while Haitians and my other friend Rose (from PeaceCYCLE) don’t even have electricity.
Food for thought.