From where we last left off.. I went out last night for the final time in the back of a tap-tap and took in the night scenery. How does one readjust to life in the big city after seeing this? I thought about this and then closed my eyes to take in the night air as we drove through Port au Prince! A cool breeze is a cool breeze and i was refreshing to feel.
So many questions answered, so many new questions.
I awoke too the concept of knowing today was me leaving and it was with mixed emotions! What in reality has been a five day excursion, as altering me radically and felt like a month! I did the same ritual I did every day.. hustle to shower (making sure I didnt get water in my mouth as the tap water carries a high risk of typhoid fever, which I here can mess ya day up)
Try charging my phone up (As the power is ran off of a generator that is on only twice a day and getting an outlet is not easy)
And getting on with the day
It was all about packing but all the while I was thinking of the attachment and fondness I grew to the place in a short period of time, and the memories made and the friendships that were made. But this was not a one time deal for me.. as phase 2 will involve me, Lord willing, coming back down there to follow through on the project. Much is to be done, and I will definitely keep you the reader updated on what is going on
At last, it was time to hop in the back of the tap-tap to go to Port-au-Prince airport. The rest of the team was going up to Grand-Guave for the weekend. I so envied them in seeing the lush landscape but duty awaited me back home. Righting in.. I was just sad I had to leave to come back to handle bills and the like here in the states. Frustrating reality but reality nonetheless. Exchanged cordialities with the group and with Bro. Darguin and we planned to meet again soon to move the project forward expeditiously, and with that I was off to home.
The airport was not a walk in the park! Two security checkpoints and a line that would test the patience of a nun! Info was misplaced, no one new nothing.. it was like a mini O’hare lol. Go through Customs.. and get up stairs and the flight is STILL delayed.
Irritated tired and hungry, all i could do was sit down and wait. I ended up striking a conversation with a native of Haiti. A lady roughly in the same age range of myself who was off to handle business for her company. We ended up discussing Haiti overall and I must say it was eye-opening on a different scale.
She mentioned how many NGOs (Non-governmental organizations) come only to Port-au-Prince but forget about the other areas of Haiti (8 total) and that Port-au-Prince has been made lazy by the help given because it does not empower them to be better in steady makes them dependent. INSTANTLY I thought of the lady who tried to tell the gentleman I was working with to not listen to me when I was teaching him.
She also mentioned of how much depth Haiti had in terms of culture and resilience bringing it full circle to me and reinforcing why I came and why I must continue what I have been blessed to be apart of.
We parted ways, but that convo was the solidification of me coming back for sure!
After thinking the entire ride back.. I arrived in Chicago finally around Midnight! Tired I opted to go out for a brief while to see how the city felt to me after being in Haiti.. The nightlife, Greektown! People getting some late night grease soaking up the liquor they just consumed. Folks plotting on booty calls, talking about nothing. It felt weird! Less than 24hrs ago I was in a tent sleep in one of the most beleaguered countries in the world, and then within 24 hours I was back in a major metropolis! If I seem different now.. it is because I am.. indeed there is a value shift to a degree.. certain things to me.. just are utterly irrelevant in the scope of my world view now.
After watching the night stars were you see just the stars.. and walking at night in utter darkness but with a sense of calm that is not matched anywhere in Chicago. Talking with people who have kept a smile through things that would make others crazy, its a new beginning indeed. I am grateful for the paths I came across in Croix De Bouquets and hope to leave a positive impression then and later as well
I say that NOT being elitist or being better, but if your eyes saw what I saw.. its hard not to be. I go forward now knowing that work is to be done and that I must balance what I have saw with what I am now in order to become what I may.. and that this work here is just a step..
I conclude this by saying Thank you to Bro General President Skip Mason and thank you Bro. Samuel Darguin.. the work is not over.. but just beginning
Stay tuned for more updates.