Feast of Jeremie’s Patron, Saint Louis

So much of Haitian celebrations are an intermingling of religion and social occasions. The beauty of the Haitian people shines through, their elegance and their sense of color and festivity always comes through. Who would have thought that after hurricane Matthew this would even be possible. A feast for the soul, but also for the…

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Truth and Consequences

Many outsiders have a hard time understanding why it is so difficult to obtain information from Haitians, and once they have the information they are looking for, it turns out it is not exactly the truth. But rather it is part of a narrative that can be repetitive and adjustable. For Haitians in poverty (and even…

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Jeremie ou nan ke m

After hurricane Matthew struck Jeremie on October 4, 2016 it was difficult to recognize the town and the Grand’Anse region. To look at so much destruction was depressing, and I could not wrap my head around it. Little did I realize that I also had become traumatized. My beloved Jeremie was no longer the city…

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Mental Health in Haiti

The Haitian concept of life is essentially religious. Haitians tend to see the world as a vast spiritual arena. For them life is precious. They celebrate life and preserve it.Here there is no room for a purely naturalistic or physical notion of illness. So doing psychology here is quite different than in the States. The…

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Stark Beauty

Beautiful view from the Benedictine Monastery north of Port au Prince. Whenever things get too chaotic, which they often will, I retreat to the Benedictine Monastery, the only monastic community in Haiti. The hospitality of the monks, the periods of silence, and the natural, stark beauty of the mountains calms me, and at the same time…

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