After twenty years, I did it or Apres vingt ans, je l’ai fait. It’s about my 2013 trip to Haiti. After much talk I finally was sur terre natale after twenty years since my last visit in 1993. I still relive the time spent in Delmas located in Port-au-Prince, the Capital. And our picture below says it all. This photo was taken upon arriving to Toussaint Louverture International Airport. One way to describe my emotions is elation. I thank Color of Hope.org for their hospitality and making my trip to Haiti a memorable success. I met the Hope “Ambassadors” at their headquarters based in Florida. After much conversation, it was time to meet Suze Soleil at the Fort Lauderdale airport, and she is a soleil, just imagine. Next, I met Ed Shakespierre and Marlee Rose and then we were off to Haiti. The moment I anxiously await for. I was a little girl again counting the days now hours until Tonton Noel comes to town.
After passing thru custom a 1, 2, 3 process it was great to finally experience our new airport and all its novelty like escalators and elevators. As I stepped outside to my grand surprise the Color Of Hope Team Haiti “Ambassadors” were ready to host us. They were all smiles. It was an electrifying moment as we met Frere Evans and his wife Madame Louna, our dynamic duo, Sonide, Wendy, Dumond, Anglade, Grace and Daniella to mention a few members as this group is expanding. We were quickly ushered into a Tap Tap, our mode of transportation. I have identified 5 levels that one rides a tap tap but I kept my gear to Level I and II, a mouin mim papa saying. At this time, I was also armed with my “Magic Haiti” magazine, March 2013 issue. Over time I graduated to Moto rides in order to get around. The latter was unexpected, a surprise.
Our first stop was at “Ti Kay Pay”- “Straw Bale Construction for A Sustainable Rebuilding Solution for Haiti”. These Ti Kay Pay are built with “local materials, local industries”, using a “flexible design”, “earthquake and hurricane safe” with “durable and cool shelter”. It was definitely cool in the home that I visited, a new construction concept pour une nouvelle Haiti by Builders without Borders.org.
Now, we were back to the Tap Tap and headed to our home destination at Delmas where our hosts anxiously await us. Shortly, it was time to head to the Hope and Innovation Center, by Color of Hope organization,currently under construction at Jacquet in the capital. There I ate my first fritay with pikliz prepared by Ms. Marlene, our community woman-preneur. Our journey began, and the rest is a palpable history.
In this article, I will focus on communication and empowerment in Haiti.
After twenty years since my last visit, my April Trip 2013 was formidable because this time I truly experienced Port-au-Prince. This was my first time in Delmas. I remained astonished by our level of communication. Communication was everywhere. To put it simply, people just talked there was no restriction as compared to previously. For example, when I lived in Haiti thirty nine years ago, it appeared that I was restricted to say Palais National, Duvalier, Papa Doc and the likes and more. Living in Haiti then I slowly and eventually learn what not to say. Also, everyone was courteous to one another and saying “please” and “thank you” or mesi as appropriate.
On the other hand a high degree of empowerment was felt. I describe empowerment as a level of strength and coming together that is unbreakable like steel. I am glad that I traveled to Haiti at this time particularly since the earthquake in 2010. l marvel still on how the survivors were able to overcome such a natural disaster after only three years and remain active as well as hopeful. I acknowledge all the work done thus far, however there are others to be adressed in all areas of life. I call it Haitian Well-being (healthcare, communication, technology and opportunities) in restoring the mind, body and soul for all. I am also realizing that by sending frequent containers of goods and fundraising on a continuum with a 5 year strategic plan minimum will make a huge difference in the recovery and rehabilitation process. I am in favor of all eyes on Haitians and pouring our efforts diligently in achieving this goal because it’s worth it. Thus Midwest Communication Network Group, a not for profit organization and Haitian-American Nurses Association of Ill and its initiatives welcome this cause.
Since my return to Chicago from Haiti, I am more empowered than ever. It’s about me feeling fully alive. To illustrate, one empowering moment that we can globally relate to is our Haitian team call “Grenadiers” ‘s performance during this current 2013 Futbol Tournament. Our young futbolers playing by giving their all, every time, against many renown teams like Spain and Italy. I have never experienced a team players that stay happy while their fans party for not winning. I am not able to say the other word that starts with the letter l. They danced to the Rara instead how empowering is that. I truly think that the game of Futbol is our fastest way to help rebuild Haitians as it keeps both the Diapora and Haitians living in Haiti engaged. At last, Haitians are revitalized. Our brand new conversations are here, fec decachete.
From an impoverished nation Haiti is slowly immersing itself into an empowering one.
Being empowered for me also stems from experiencing love, kindness and servitude by everyone throughout the day in Haiti beyond tourism.
Another empowering moment was participating at the Color of Hope, “Jour de Remerciment Pou Travail avec Tet Ensemb” held at the Center on May 1rst on Labor Day or Jour de l’Agriculture et du Travail. These committed Ambassadors organized a pre launching event for their beloved community. This Jacquet community participation was overwhelming. Nearly 80 attendees showed up for this one of a kind event and its planned cutting edge activities. Moreover, our children of all age group were beyond themselves as they learned from many outstanding scientific displays like “Jean So Crazy Lab” and drawing contest. I was also given the opportunity by this organization the privilege to share about Your Health-Wealth Care Management Plan. I remember one participant listening from the edge of his seat. To my surprise, two days later the program content was a conversation piece away from the center. I truly believe that this timely health program also call or sous-titre Votre Plan de Sante-Prosperite will help accentuate our well-being work using a global platform.
Per my assessment, to summarize what will help Haitians living a l’interieur is a phlethora of education in all areas of life as they continue to build on their well-being, a timely conversation.
After twenty years my trip to Haiti remain a lively conversation with my family, friends, neighbor and everyone. I enjoy giving them a new perspective about Haiti with a focus on Haitians. I used our latest technology favorably by showing my mother my great cousin Tante Fla and cousin Madame Thomas’s personal video. Over all my trip was worthwhile. I hope to visit tres soon within this year is plus.