Sunday, June 27, 2010


The breeze weaves through my freshly twisted hair, seizing the heat of the day and fading voices of the choir. The atmosphere shifts from the excitement and chaos of the festival of St. John the Baptist and Brazil’s game in the World Cup this morning to a more tranquil Friday evening. The week passing, leaving numerous joys along the way:
The women from the salsa class performed for a group of school directors, a seldom, if ever, event for them. Mothers, widows, daughters, grandmothers, all elegantly striding at the beat of the drums and swaying their hips to the rhythm of a Beatles song made Salsa. The spectators applauded, they received the recognition. The once students assisted in giving classes of their newly acquired talent to the group of directors. The humble confidence the ladies slowly gave light to during the lessons these past two months blazed.
Ingrid and I lay on her stunted twin-sized bed, Mauza sat snugly next to us enjoying her lollypop, in Ingrid’s poorly lit, poorly ventilated compartment as we laughed sharing the joys of attaining the water in Kay Pov. The women’s eyes engaged with mine in a way unknown to us as I retold the process of attaining the water, their faces came to life hearing the influence the women acquired by joining together. “Solidarity,” Ingrid said. Silence and goose-bumps followed. Ingrid’s curiosity to see Kay Pov and meet the people there seems to be superseding her implicit confinement. Our friendship mutually liberates us, in our own needed way.
I glorified in the amazing creations that emerge out of Love. All the marvels that come to life because of our attraction to beauty, to Love: the vivid colors and texture of a painting, the delicate melody of a song, the faultless rhythm of a poem.
We tumbled through a 3 hour drive on a white-cloudy, windswept Sunday to visit friends in Gros Moune. Where we joined in watching Brazil defeat Cote D’Ivoire and witnessed outrageous expressions of ecstasy in the crowd with each goal. (Haitians, from what I’ve seen, root devoutly for one of two teams, Argentina or Brazil.) Following the excitement I took a swim in the river right below the gathering. As I lay allowing myself to float along, the rustle of the leaves intensified, the clouds darkened, and thunder joined the leaves in their song. The delicate shapes formed as the rain plunged into the river’s surface perplexed me, the gracefulness produced out of such an instant, overpowering encounter. I allowed the rain to cascade over me as my toes fastened on to the pebbles below trying to resist the current. During the downpour’s intermission as sprinkles replaced the droplets, a faint rainbow outlined a mountain’s peak which tried to show itself through the weighty clouds. Soon after the raindrops returned bringing with them lightning and thunder. A masterpiece sent to finish off the evening.
On the 24th, the feast of Jean-Rabel’s patron saint, Jara and I thanked God for the 6 o’clock mass in the morning because it was the first moment of silence since the night before around 9pm. Our hours of supposed slumber were joined by a concert next door that blasted its Compa and Rara beats the whole night through. We hadn’t been wise and joined the party; instead we stayed tossing in bed. The mass was sent from heaven, it granted us a few hours of deep, drool-coming-out-of-the-mouth sleep. The 9 o’clock mass is the spectacle the town does not miss. Relatives from Miami, camera people from Port-au-Prince, and all the regulars of Jean-Rabel’s streets gather to celebrate the feast. God graced Jara and I with seats in the back corner where the opening for the window and the open doors of the church collaborated generating superb cross ventilation for our section of overpopulated pews. After three and a half hours of singing, sitting, standing, and dancing we left the church with the multitude and tried to see the parades passing by playing music in the blazing sun. The sun eventually gave way to heavy rain which Jara and I thrilled in. As others looked for shelter, Jara and I skipped palm-sized seeds on the newly formed puddle s aspiring to be lakes, splashed around in the mud, laughing and acting our age. Walking down rows of banana trees by the river yesterday we saw the change in the landscape the thunderstorm provoked.
The moon’s brilliance allowed us to see the majesty of Jean-Rabel’s hours of darkness.
Lydia, Yvka, and I crammed our way into a “cinema” across the street. This cinema is responsible for filling our rooms with Shakira’s voice belting out “Oh Africa,” and the rest of the World Cup music repeatedly even before the church bells have a chance of waking us up. The music goes on until the games begin at 6:30am, competing with the priest’s voice and the women’s enthusiastic hymns. The cinema consists of three 16-inch flat screen TVs not too conveniently placed and two walls with the game projected on them. Part of the excitement of game-watching is trying to get a view of the game. More than 300 of us stuff ourselves in the cement structure without windows and with chairs for only a third of us. I found new yoga positions trying to see the Portuguese-speaking players run at least through one fifth of the field, where I would have to find another position to finish seeing the play. The experience improved my flexibility, allowed me to be with the people of Jean-Rabel in a different atmosphere, while all the while being fanned by the first ceiling fans I’ve seen while in Jean-Rabel.
The performance, the visit, the painting, the raindrops diving in the river, the silence, the moon, the game, remind me of what I am here to do, find love in every moment, in every creature.

With you,


  1. I'm happy to hear from you and about your so many experiences. I am an indoors girl but I can almost feel the fun of the puddles and the rain in the river. What ever happened to Zoloa and the sisters? Thank you for your sharing. I celebrate the way you enjoy life. Neida

  2. Zaloa is in Bilbao, Spain where she lives. She left May 17th. Nazareth is visiting family in Sevilla, Spain. She left the beginning of June and will be back mid-July. Rose is with me :) and Jara is my new roommate, a pharmacist from Madrid. (Thank you Neida for not giving up on reading my inconsistant entries. I am so thankful for your accompaniment.)

  3. The thank you I wrote to Neida also goes out to all the others who have accompanied me, those who have posted comments and the silent readers ;). I feel all of you with me and I thank you for that. I send you my blessings.