Haiti, oh Haiti…..
There is so much I would like to say, but cannot express in words. Ayiti cheri, I love you with all that I am. Thanks to you I have become more than I ever thought I would be, more of myself, more of myself with others, more of myself with the world.
My dear Haitian friends, after 18 years with you, I am just now beginning to understand you, beginning to grasp how in the midst of poverty, disaster, and political unrest you can still smile. How your joie de vivre is so contagious that it can rescue me at a time when I am confronted with calamity. It rescues me to be with you, because more than anybody else I know, your will to live is so strong that it carries me along. Your faith in Bondye, your surrender to this force of love, lifts my spirit and I surrender along with you.
Ayiti, I have always seen your beauty in the faces of your people, even when marred by suffering, in your flowers and trees – flambeau, hibiscus, lam, mango, kokoye – even when threatened with deforestation. These are remnants of beauty clinging to life so stubbornly, they will not vanish. Marked by disaster in evidence everywhere, but empowered by a rebellious will to live, reconstruction begins again and again with resolute determination not to disappear from this earth.
The warmth of your skin, the brilliance of your eyes, and your fluid movements that carry me to places I never thought I would see. Here in my valley of tears you lift me up, and I know without a doubt another day is coming.