By: Margaret Armoo-Daniels
Alternative Springbreak Volunteer, March 2010
Sociology Major, Writing Minor
Yesterday, I got back from my spring break experience in Croix des Bouquets, Haiti with the Haitian American Caucus. It’s hard to put exactly how I feel about the trip in words. The experience of being in Haiti, with the young, passionate leaders and volunteers, and interacting with the some of the strongest and most resilient people on the earth, the haitian people, was overwhelming positive. Initially, I was apprehensive about traveling to Haiti, a country that has been branded as the hopeless case of the world, especially to work with a young, grassroots organization that I was not to familiar with. However, looking back on the week now, I think of the biblical scripture Hebrews 11:8-10.
The Bible says: By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did issac and jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder was God.
Blindly, I went to Haiti and I found the most passionate and selfless young people invested in the progress and empowerment of Haitian people. I sought the foreign and found the familiar. Time and time again, I had to remind myself that I was not in Ghana. The sounds in Haitian sounds especially the bw, mw, and the like brought me back to osu in Accra and the Volta region of Ghana. I began to understand what old people in Ghana meant when they say that Haitians are descendants of persons stolen from Benin. I could hear the sounds from the Ewe-family languages even in the Kreyol. Kreyol, the blend of African and European cultures, the national mythos of strength, will, perseverance, and fight pervades even the very air in Haiti.
Haiti is a beautiful, remarkably anointed symbol of freedom and a dream. The first black country to free itself of colonial rule, slavery, oppression, in the world.
I went to haiti to help the people. I ended up learning some Kreyol, forging amazing relationships, discovering the beauty of the country–its mountains and crystal-dasani-clear beaches, and more. I am realizing the impact that a group of dedicated, concerned citizens, or diasporans, can have in the future of a people. The sacrifice was clear, however so were the blessings.
In Haiti, I have fallen in love in more ways than I can enumerate.
I urge all persons to challenge the single stories of people and nations and serve, explore and travel, by faith.