Sunday, July 24, 2011

Why Haiti?

Ariel of Haiti not long after take-off from Port-au-Prince

(While we usually write our posts from the perspective of our group as a whole, this one comes directly from TRTP Vice President, Sonya. This was written on her flight out of Haiti on her last trip at the beginning of July, 2011.)

With the last peak of the Haitian mountains barely visible from my window, my heart is heavy as I leave this little island in the Caribbean. The clouds break momentarily and the winding dirt roads through the twisting mountains become visible for a few precious seconds. My typing stops, my eyes close and I silently wish my plane were bound for Haiti, not departing.

People ask why I work in Haiti—why my eyes sparkle when I share about my experiences there. A single clear answer to such a complex question is difficult to give.

But of this I am certain: it is truly the people that draw me back, that red thread of destiny that connects me to them and them to me.

These are my brothers and sisters, my extended family. Just as I spend time with my friends and family in the states, there is an increasing urge to do the same in Haiti. And just as I would help my family if they were in need, I want to do the same for these beautiful people. Even though my skin is a different color, I feel as though I belong there.

Possibly the best answer to the question “why Haiti?” is given by offering an invitation: come with us sometime.

Experience life in Haiti.
Meet people.
Word side-by-side.
Get to really know them, not just on the surface.
Laugh, cry and everything in between.
Build lifelong relationships.

When that first child reaches for your hand or asks when you are coming back…
When people recognize you as you walk through the gate…
When you go from person to person, hugging and kissing brown cheeks…
Then maybe, just maybe, you’ll know my answer to that question.

It is a feeling, too strong for words, too difficult to explain.

As my personal monologue comes to a close, we have traveled far from Hispanola. Visible now is the beautiful coastline of another island. The beach is white and the water next to the coast an inviting light blue green, stretching out into a deep blue. It is unmarred by trash, debris and the telltale blue tarps of makeshift tents, truly the stereotypical tropical paradise.

While gorgeous, it isn’t nearly as beautiful as Haiti in my eyes. And I cannot wait to go back again.


Glenna Lee Howell Fisher said...

Real beauty is seen with the heart, not the eyes. I want to go, too.

DAblaggeur said...

That is amazing . Haiti indeed is a lot of fun . The children are the most welcoming, they love foreigners.
Good luck to you , be safe and hope you do well and be fine when or if you ever go back .