Jwi Moman an

There's an advertising campaign by Coke in Haiti stating 'jwi moman an' which means enjoy the moment. That's where I'm at right now. I want to embrace every single moment and yet my heart is breaking.

It's crazy how much you love things when you know you won't have them anymore...

I am less than fourteen days away from moving to the US from Haiti.
This still feels impossible to me even though I have been processing this decision for a long time and am currently grieving.

I'm soaking up every single moment.

The sunsets, my friends, their children, church, locals, culture, traffic, last minute moto rides, the fact that I am finally speaking Kreyol pretty well.

I love it all. And yet, I'm leaving it. How can this be? It makes no sense at all... I keep telling God that.

And yet it's time. It's time to move. It's time to transition ... for now.

And I feel like I love so many things about my life here. It feels impossible. How in the world will I have the courage to make this transition? I feel like I've expended almost all my courage over the past two plus years.

But it's here. The clock keeps ticking and time keeps moving. And I'm treasuring every moment. And I let the tears slip occasionally but mostly I'm just trying to think of how I can explain to the people around me how much I love them and how I want to continue to be here for them.

I want to tell my Haitian friends how proud of them I am, how strong each of them are, how much they have taught me, and that I'm sorry I'm leaving and I know it doesn't make sense because now I speak Kreyol and can make my way around this country better than a lot of people.

I keep telling Haiti that she is a good teacher. She is a hard teacher. A rough teacher, even traumatizing at times, but that she teaches each of us what we are in the depths of our souls and reveals to us the darkest parts and the most brilliant and bright parts too.

I want to tell the new people coming here to appreciate this beautiful country. To PLEASE not come in with a set of ideas to fix this country. Please leave those preconceived notions at home and come to this beautiful country that has had freedom for well over 200 years and to learn from her. Learn from her people and her beauty and her resilience and her way of life. Come with boundaries, come with an attitude of humility, and come and change what these people have been taught (through experience) to think of white people. And at least read a book or two on poverty before you come. The very basics include: "When Helping Hurts" (link here) and "From Aid to Trade" which is specifically about Haiti (link here).

Haiti is a good teacher. I've found, Most of the time people have to come and learn for themselves. This is hard to watch at times, painful even.
But Haiti, you are strong. You are resilient.
It will always be part of my life's work to change the face of 'aid' in this country.

At Papillon one last time with some of my best friends in Haiti

Teaching at FSRL, the rehab school in Haiti for the 4th time (http://www.haitirehab.org/)


Enjoying the beauty of Bel Fle which I have called home for almost a year (http://www.belfle.org/)

Madame Ulysse, Lola, and Angeline on the rooftop of Bel Fle during our going away party for the clinic

plus Paula

Beautiful lunch celebration with people I love (clinic and house staff)

Nanase, Priscille, Lisa, Lulu


One last dinner at Marriott -- love and respect these women so much 

Having fun with the clinic staff - including the wonderful docs of OCHC

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