The book The World is Moving Around Me is based on the account of an eyewitness who uses his memory to write down the events that occurred. It outlines the events that happened during the earthquake and the resulting effects. It serves as a natural disaster archive as well as a personal reflection on the responsibility and influence of written statements. Dany Laferriere decided not to see Haiti as cursed, instead using the victims’ stoicism and dedication to demonstrate to his readers how energy and integrity help in disaster recovery. He makes sure that the readers are sympathetic to what happened in Haiti. He wrote the events right after the earthquake which occurred while he was having lunch. After the earthquake, he kept notes on what he had seen. He later went to the garden to find out if the flowers were still there and he found they were. The fact that the earthquake destroyed the building but the flowers were intact was poetic to Dany. The flowers prompted him to note down “The earthquake attacked what is solid, but protects the light”(Laferriere 146). This was his first statement in his notebook as he found the situation to be poetic. He translated taking notes as literature being of great importance to him, but in the real sense, he was writing because he was scared. It was through writing that he had courage and hope that he was not going to die.
The motive of his book was not to make Haiti be a scene, but he tried to bring out the courage of the residents, their wounds, acts of heroism and weaknesses. The writing of the earthquake event was a remarkable story that had to be told in a different way other than reports on television. The televised event only focuses on the injured, the broken houses and the dead. Danny was determined to make his readers see the positive side of the affected residents. The book was based on his memory of what he had seen and what he experienced. Being Haitian gave him more advantage while documenting the story as he was able to identify with the people compared to a foreigner who would have recorded the story. Dany was amazed by how quick the residents restarted their normal lives. The following day after the earthquake, he met an old woman in Port-au-Prince who was selling mangoes. This place had a higher population of poor people whose aim was not to only survive the earthquake but to fend for their families. She had to sell things to feed her family, and this had an impact in Danny. The earthquake had caused extensive damage that rendered many people homeless.
Laferriere was more interested in social reconstruction after the earthquake. It was important to put into consideration the importance of social rebuilding as it would have been accompanied by physical and material restoration. Rebuilding the city without considering the states of mind of the people around would not change anything. Dealing with depression in the residents first and at the same time rebuild the city would ensure that the town together with its residents has healed. Increased rate of morbidity in an unstable political and economic system in addition to poor sanitation is a recipe for civil wars (Laferriere 147). There was a definite energy in Port-au-Prince where painters in the streets created attractive pieces of artwork on the sides of the buildings. This portrayed that the city and the people of Haiti were not broken albeit the earthquake destroyed the city.
Haitian all over the world together with those in the island were kind enough to offer food and financial support to the affected families. The support was given regardless of the existence of the natural calamities. Approximately two billion dollars is received from Haitians who reside outside Haiti as annual remittance. It is offered to families affected by hurricanes or earthquake.
The World is Moving Around me tries to reveal to its readers that Haiti should be viewed in a different perspective. Anyone who reads the books picks that Haitians are courageous, modest people and this is the pride of Haiti. The residents are aware of the value of each other and live in brotherhood. Everyone in spite of their background was willing to help one another and become surprisingly extraordinary individuals when situations demand. The Haitians, therefore, clearly bring out their usefulness amidst natural calamities. They are united as one and ready to offer a helping hand.
Laferriere, Dany. The World is Moving Around Me: A Memoir of the Haiti Earthquake. Arsenal Pulp, 2013.