I recently traveled to Haiti on a mission trip over Spring Break. I have traveled to a developing country before so I was not expecting much of a difference from my past experience. I definitely was wrong. I knew Haiti was one of the poorest countries in the world, but I do not think I fathomed the extent of how poor. Haiti has no infastructure. You are probably reading this thinking well I know this, but I mean they have no sewage system, no trash system, no electricity in most parts. If you think about the lack of the basics they do not have you can probably predict the lack technology or internet use that goes on in Haiti which is little to none. Unless you are in the Port au Prince area, but even in Cap Haitian where I flew in and out of, our returning flight was messed up due to the slow and unreliable interent they use at their international airport.
The time I spent in Haiti made me think of how much technology I use on a daily basis and how much information I am exposed to. In all of the works we have read we have debated the topic of whether we are too reliant on technology, and if society is becoming less and less personal. Before leaving on my trip I would completely agree that I spend too much time on the internet, social networks, news sites, and of course my phone, but in Haiti this is not even an option. In Haiti unless you have some money to visit an internet cafe 40 miles from you town or village, you have no source to the outside world other than word of mouth. Although most people are in what I would define as extreme poverty they do have cell phones, but the phones are soley a means of communication between people. I definitely did not see any smart phones.
I am arguing that our technology advances and exposure to all kinds of information is a good thing. Anything can be abused and overused.
Over the course of the trip we became very close to the two interpreters that were with us for the week. We often talked about differences between the U.S. and Haiti and some of the things both of the interpreters did not know were astonishing. They are both well educated for Haiti's standards and smart, but the lack of information they recieve boggled my mind. For example, one of the interpreters was not aware that there were black people in the United States. Something just as simple is that is not widely known in Haiti. Most people do not even know there is a world outside of Haiti. Another example of the lack of information would be that I was not aware of the Japan Earthquake until I arrived in the states on Tuesday. The lack of information is truly mind boggling. Haiti has been under corrupt dictation for hundreds of years, but hopefully the current election will make some changes and improvements for the people of Haiti. The nation can only hope, they don't have anything else to do but hope, and maybe in the future they will released from their bubble and into a globalized society.