Truth be told there are far too many amazing experiences to just pick one to dive into. Though our trip lasted a week, it will forever remain in my heart and soul. After 12 years of being back in the US, I've grown to have a few unanswered questions about myself. It took but a few hours to get those answers. Though born in the US, I will always be a Haitian. Their spirit echoes through every ounce of my being.
I love Haitian food. Couldn't tell you the first thing about making it, but I will eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even that midnight hankering we tend to get from time to time. Poulet Creole (Chicken,) Cabrit creole (Goat,) Bananne Pesse (Pressed & fried plantains,) pois ak diri (Beans and rice.) If I had my way, every community in the US would have a corner Haitian restaurant. There is so much soul that goes into the food. The best part of the meal below, is I got to enjoy it true Haitian style~ By candlelight!
By far the most beautiful thing I witnessed was the metamorphosis of the four ladies I got to travel with. They arrived Americans, and left Haitians. Being down there for a week, really puts our plush lives into perspective. The trivial worries we have here wash away the instant you drive out of the airport parking lot. People have been living in tarp structures for over a year, drinking questionable water and praying that by some miracle they will have a way to feed their family that week.
We drove some of the same roads everyday and got to know where the tire-destroying potholes were. Down the way from the airport there was a pothole (understatement) that spanned the width of the road. In fact, if you were to take a wide speed bump, and reverse it into the asphalt, that might come close to the ditch we drove through daily. Our last day driving through it didn't seem as treacherous. As we looked back to see what was different, we noticed a young man- couldn't be more than 15- with a 5 gallon bucket in his hands. He had been going around picking up stones to fill the pothole in hopes that the tap-tap drivers might throw him some money for repairing the road. There was no guarantee of any money to come his way, but when you have nothing it will never hurt to try.
This is the resilience I carry with me. There IS always a way. Look around you and see that there is so much opportunity everywhere. Every now and then I get caught up with the stupid little things like what do I feel like wearing, or what do I want to eat. It's then that I remember I have a choice. That's more than a lot of people out there.