H is for Haiti

I was expecting Haiti to be hard. I had anticipated the signs of struggle – buildings crumbled and cracked, camps  constructed out of gray USAID tarps and twine. I accepted the cacophonous noise, the endless heat and exhaust, and the dust that muted the mountains beyond.

I had not anticipated that Haiti would make me feel so much but leave me nearly speechless. I returned over a week ago and I am still at almost a complete loss for words. I guess words don’t seem worthy enough. Words alone can’t do it justice.

To say I had a wonderful time is trite and true. Hazel was an exceptional guide. She is an inspiration. Her friends are delightful. The peanut butter is unparalleled. Everything seems heightened in Haiti – the ocean saltier, the sun hotter, the horns louder, the beat bolder, the road rockier. There is an undercurrent of strength, humming and heaving throughout the day, that’s a constant reminder of Haiti’s tortured history. It seems impossible and all too real at the same time.

I composed this poem tonight, in my search for words. It’s the best I could do. Pictures follow. And you know what they say about pictures…

H is for Haiti

Tongue tied

People so poor yet dignified


Shared island, shared moto ride

A fabled history

Tall tales of truth

Dust, sweat, sunshine youth

Blood and  bright smiles

Haiti is free

A reminder of our mortality


3 thoughts on “H is for Haiti

  1. Thank you for putting words to Haiti. Terrific photos. Haiti is more than its devastation. Dignity in a falling apart place. We love our Gals. XOXOX P and H

  2. I just read this. Beautiful and so true. Haiti is intense and devastating and beautiful and hard to explain. Your poem is perfect 🙂

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