There’s no place like home- 16 years later!
I recently visited Haiti and it was the trip of my lifetime! It was not like any other vacation, it was homecoming. I was excited yet nervous. the real question was why did I take so long?
Well I had no actual answer to this question. I was suppose to go in 2010, but then the earthquake happened. I was heartbroken and all I could say was WHY US? watching the catastrophe on television made me feel hopeless. I was so grateful the people of Haiti were strong enough to pick up the pieces and moved on. Many of these people I knew, they were family friends and they knew me when I was growing up.
I moved to the U.S. in 2002, I was 12 years old. I was excited to come here but when I arrived, I was bullied because of where I was from. The image they showed of Haiti were always negative and many kids at school made fun of me and made me feel ashamed.
Finally going back home at 28 was necessary! The idea came to me when I went to visit my aunt in Paris. She suggested it and without any excitation I agreed. when I came back to the U.S. I booked my flight to Haiti for Dec 23-Jan 6th 2019. Just like that I was planning the trip of my life. Since this was my first time going back home, I wanted to have a press conference with the media of Haiti, so I hired an agency to help me do so. After doing several TV and radio interviews, it was time for me to get down with the locals and have a good old time!
I visited my cousins and also revisited my old neighborhoods. That was a lot of fun! I went to Champ de Mars park and also visited the Mupanah. Mupanah is a historical museum located right in the middle of Champs de Mars. It’s been there for the longest but I never visited it. I took public transportation everywhere (motorcycle and taptaps aka $2 van) and I also walked a lot. Haiti has a lot of hills and I am convinced I lost a good 10 pounds from climbing them.
I was so happy that I got to reminisce, although many things changed, many things remained the same. For example Champs de Mars still looked the same; that used to be my route to school and to get home so I was excited to visit it again. The moment I arrived there I had flashback walking by there as a child, The white house was also in the same area, I remembered always stoping in front of it when they were singing the national anthem in the morning. I enjoyed standing there with my arm on my chest and sang along every morning. My homecoming exceeded my expectation and I simply cannot wait to do it again! And no I will not wait another 16 years.
Télé Nationale D’Haïti