Someone asked me yesterday, “How was Haiti?” And I realized I never really talked about it much. It is something that was both wonderful and that hurt deeper than I thought anything could. The country and the living conditions were not in themselves shocking to me- I’ve studied enough things about humanity to know what to expect. It was actually a bit better than I expected. Which was probably helped by the fact that we stayed in what, even in America, would be a decent, lower middle class home, if small, but in a neighborhood where there really is no American equivelent.
I enjoyed it, alot. I didn’t want to leave. The people are so beautiful, the land is beautiful, but so far from what it has been, the art and colors everywhere are amazing. I am in love with it, and its a lasting love….
I was disapointed how little good my Creole lessons were…. but I am continuing to work on it…. If you know anyone who speaks Haitian Creole and wants to tutor someone, let me know…..
But, back to the subject. Haiti is a country of contrasts. It is beautiful and harsh, joyfilled and sorrow, full of dark and light, pain and happiness, poverty of possesions and richness of community, a place where life and death meet and mingle in an unabashed whirlwind dance that consumes all who set foot on the island. Beautiful dark skin and eyes against white teeth and clay, mud and dry, silence and noise, stillness and movement. It is indescribable.
Not so unlike my own country. All that is in America, too, its just more hidden….
My heart aches for the people there. My mind is haunted by their faces. And I dream of the day I go back again, to embrace the dance, and to hold close the exquisite mix of sorrow and joy all over again.
None of which says much about my trip, but, like I said, words don’t really fit it….