A mark of a special place is one that continually nudges you, inviting you to learn more, and then never ceases to surprise you. Despite four years of following and three years of periodically visiting, I definitely don't know Haiti. I write from Santo Domingo, tomorrow going to spend my Spring Break week in Haiti, mostly PauP. A short time. A new time, hoping to build some relationships within the Haiti advocacy / human rights circles. Also will support and accompany some Haitian university students who are interested in this work, in hopes of beginning a sustained relationship. All of which is completely new to me, but I somehow sense that I should RSVP, again, to Haiti's invitation. Watch, listen, learn, be.
I like to remember my different entry points into any situation, and the emotions they evoke. It's good to remind myself of what changes, and what remains constant always.
Just over one year ago, I entered Haiti to pitch in at the Leogane field hospital. March 1 2010, I anxiously boarded my flight, having just stayed up all night in the Miami airport to answer emails and stew frenetically over the uncertainty of work that lay before me. I was so scared. Yet, over those following months, the people and situations I encountered surprised me in the most beautiful ways, beyond anything I could have imagined.
For tomorrow's entry, I'm not scared. Excited about being surprised, encountering something new in what is Haiti to me--the mystery and complexity, the persistent struggle, the Kompa music beat, the life of streets, the sadness, the spontaneous joy. The belief in freedom, that Neg Mawon p ap janm kraze.