I was always taught to love and appreciate where my ancestors came from. My family went to great lengths to ensure that we always knew and understood what it means to be Haitian. I still remember my 1st trip to Haiti. I had just graduated from kindergarten, and was super excited about the trip. I even remember the dress I was wearing! My experiences in Haiti have always been good ones. Which is why when the 2010 earthquake hit Haiti, and the images of the devastation hit the airwaves, I was hurting as much as any Haitian person witnessing the horror. However, I want to take you on a journey of my memories of Haiti and share with you why I have so much hope for Haiti's future.
|View of Cap-Haitien, Haiti|
I am greeted by the heat as I get off the air-conditioned plane, and take in the essence of the Haitian air. Riding in the car to my destination, and looking out the window at the children playing, and the beautiful faces. I remember jumping rope on the terrace of my grandparents house with my cousins as the snow-cone merchant passed by, yelling out "fresco! fresco!" I remember the sleepovers at the beach. I remember walking hand-in-hand with my father to the ice cream parlor in the evenings in Cap-Haitian, walking past the Notre Dame Du Cap Cathedral. I remember sitting on my grandmother's terrace, watching the passerby's and listening to Haitian tunes as they filled the streets. I also remember, the tears I shed every time I left... always bittersweet.
|Students at Ti Aiyti, in Cite Soleil, energized Rachel Wheeler.|
I believe that a lot of people have their heart in the right place when it comes to helping Haiti rebuild. I only ask that you act on it. There are many legitimate organizations that were not mentioned here, that you can support in the efforts to continue to help Haiti. Consider one's spirit, one's will to survive and perseverance as strong as that of the Haitian people. Consider the hard work of all of those who care about the country and it's people, who are on the ground, in the field, working every day... It is impossible not to have hope.
And where there is hope... the possibilities are endless.
Our prayers go out to all of those affected by the 7.0 Earthquake of 2010 in Haiti.
Haïti Chérie, nou Là et nou pap lagé'w nan la priyè. Kimbé ferm!