Wednesday, August 10, 2011

On deciding my summer vacation...


At the end of July I went back to Haiti to take a little summer vacation time. In a lot of ways this was a completely selfish visit. I wasn't going back to Haiti for any project or for work or anything. I wasn't going to help anybody but myself I guess. Whenever anyone asked me why I was going to Haiti I just said it was for Vacation...which in a way was true - I did have to take vacation days from work. And I'd get the usual response "Haiti isn't exactly a vacation destination"

Part of me completely understands why people find it funny or weird or offensive to consider a trip to Haiti vacation, or just to be going for yourself, but for me Haiti and my friends there are almost like my home and family. In so many ways going to Haiti to me is no different than visiting my cousins in _____ City, USA. Its not a mission trip, or business trip, its just going to visit people I care about.

Anyway - I hadn't been in Haiti since last November and simply to much time had passed. I had been trying to hold off my return visit to Haiti till the ordination of the seminarians. You might remember before the earthquake I lived at the seminary and attempted to teach English to the seminarians and they have since become good friends of mine. You can remind yourself here or here. I had wanted to be sure I could be there for their ordinations...so I held off on making any visits to ensure I would have enough money for that trip. But rumors of the ordinations being in January quickly turned to rumors of May, to June to July to Late Fall...at which point I had enough. Now this is probably a sign that I need to get a new source, but the thought of not being in Haiti for almost an entire year was too much, and as soon as I heard the news they wouldn't be in July, I began making my plans to go to Haiti ASAP!


Part of this desire to go is this pull that Haiti has over me. For those of you that have been there before you might know what I am talking about. I also think that my experience during the earthquake made this pull inexplicably stronger. Haiti to me is somehow one of the scariest places but also one of the places I feel the most safe. It is a place where I feel the most like an outsider but also one of the few places I feel like I belong. Its a place filled with tragedy but also with a great Joy and one of the places where I am the happiest and most carefree. And I just needed to be there again.

The other reason I decided to finally hop on a plane and go back was because last November my godson(or is it daughter...more on that in a future post) was born and the mom had been waiting to do the baptism so that I could be there. So sometime in Mid-June I just decided that I would go at the end of July and that was it. I called up my friend (the baby's mom) told her I was coming and asked if she could do the baptism while I was there.

I told a few of the seminarians, my old Kreyol teacher and some others that I'd be in Port au Prince and my trip was set...I was just going to go to Port au Prince to go to a Baptism, hangout and just be.

This was the first of my return trips that I hadn't really thought out - hadn't planned too much in advance, and was shocked when the weekend I was leaving came around and I had done almost nothing to prepare - just packed my things the day I was supposed to leave and got on a plane like I was going home for the weekend as easy as that...

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