John Nagy '00M.A. | February 11, 2016
Longuisse Simón shifts his weight on the metal foldout chair, his head cocked to one side and hands clasped between his knees, his eyes narrowed in thought. In the light of the naked bulb above us, I can see the flecks of gray in his stubble. I can see how his skin has cooled since he put his tools down, that he’s changed his shirt after coming down from the roof. I can see that he is taking my questions seriously.
That I’m able to see these things, and my notebook, without the atmospheric flicker of a candle or kerosene lamp is a luxury that would have been unimaginable in this place just three years ago. Longuisse is Haitian, and some 7.3 million Haitians — more than seven out of every 10 people in this Caribbean nation a few hundred miles southeast of Miami — live without regular, reliable access to electricity.