Back in December 2012 I traveled to Haiti, the mother country of my parents, for the first time in my life. I was never fortunate enough to visit as a child but when my parents decided that they were going back to visit, I knew that I needed to come along with them.
As I prepared for the journey, I had some anxiety about what I would see and experience and I even had some friends express their concerns for my safety. With every fearful thought that entered my mind, I prayed that God would remove them. I went to Haiti with the desire to explore the country and to be a blessing to my family and I would not allow fear to overtake my desires. Travelling mercies were given and I arrived safely, I traveled throughout the island safely and I came back safely. I was able to accomplish all that I set out to do but I also left Haiti a changed woman. I was humbled by the entire experience and I fell in love with an island and family members who I had only just met.
Haiti is impoverished, there is an absurd amount of people who are homeless, and there is utter devastation from the earthquake in 2010. I arrived in Haiti prepared for a culture shock. Yes, I encountered new and sometimes scary things. Yes, I was heart broken by what I saw. Yes, I was humbled and overwhelmed by everything around me. But above all of the things that I experienced the thing that stuck with me was LOVE. It did not matter that they were poor or that they were unsure where the next meal would come from. Above every fearful thing that they could think of, I saw that the love that they had for one another made life so much easier. I was beyond grateful for the experience and the overabundance of love that was in everything and was everywhere made Haiti feel like home for me.
There is so much more that I could share but I want to end with this. The last day in Haiti my family and I visited MUPANAH (Musee du Pantheon National Haitien), it is a beautiful museum located in the capital, filled with art, artifacts, and the rich history of Haiti. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and it was an awesome experience for me. I was able to learn so much about Haiti and it helped confirm how valuable Haiti is. While there are so many negative things one could focus on in regards to the island, one thing cannot be denied: Haiti is strong with so much potential.
I’m thankful that my journey has been filled with life changing experiences and I look forward to all that is to come.