This shouldn’t be too long of a blog. Keep in mind this is a rough draft and won’t be edited in the future. Typo’s and run on sentences will happen – deal with it! J My trip to Haiti was mind blowing. The only expectation I had was to come back a changed woman; and, I sure have! I have over a dozen topics to touch upon so the coming blogs will focus around these topics on an individual basis. I am still processing and dealing with some emotions so I am unable to clearly articulate what my opinion is about it. Also, I’m writing my senior thesis paper, so that’s going to take up a lot of my writing time. All I know is that I am brainstorming and processing my personal accomplishments and they’re starting to become increasingly prominent in my thoughts. I find myself writing about me while I’m trying to explain a specific section of my paper.
What I will share with you now is that my life has changed. My view has changed. The culture shock I have experienced has been mostly coming back to the states. Honestly, I felt more at home there then I did here. The people I met took me in as if I was their family. I’ve missed my family gatherings and considering it’s the holiday season, I’ve been thinking about our Bruno traditions that I haven’t celebrated in 4 years – maybe longer! Before I left for Haiti, I thought about how much I miss my aunt and grandmother. They would be so proud of me – They are proud of me! Considering I thought and spoke of them so often, I don’t doubt they were with me on my travels. The Haitian family culture is exactly what I’ve missed in my own family. At the same time, however, I am so grateful to have been received into their family as quickly as I was.
The intimate connections I made with the family we traveled with are more rewarding than any service work I did. I played with the kids, yeah, and it was fun, but it was no different from playing with kids here. There was nothing special about it. There was nothing special about the work we did either. There wasn’t a moment when I said, “Yeah, I’m doing a great thing” when it wasn’t in direct collation with something I did or said with the family. The reasons I thought I was going to Haiti were not the reasons at all. I thought I was going to do some much needed service work for a group of children who, I guess, I assumed were orphans. However, they weren’t. Yeah, there were children who were obviously poor and suffering from insufficient food. I saw children with rotted teeth, holes in their clothing, dirty bodies and even physical disabilities. Overall, however, they were just kids. I didn’t have a motherly reaction to any of them like I thought I would.
Honestly, I don’t know why that is either. That’s something I need to further explore later. I don’t know why I connected with this family on the level that I did. I don’t know why I came back to my reality in Oregon only to find that I am unhappy. I don’t know why I had to travel hundreds of miles to express myself on certain matters. I have no idea why I am filled with so much love and compassion that it makes me sick sometimes. LOL! I seriously feel like I should be in the Disney movie Snow White when she’s talking to the birds, squirrels and critters of the forest. There’s a constant ditty in my head and I slightly feel like my face won’t stop smiling. When I walk, there’s a slight feeling of floating. Where is all of this coming from? It’s a combination of things, I know!
Seriously, I was able to celebrate the last full moon of the 2013 calendar year in Haiti with unexpected company. This new years is significant too; there’s a new moon on new years. That hasn’t happened in 19 years, I think. It’s not something that happens often and it’s believed to be the start of a brand new. I have let go of so much in the last year. I’m finding new things to fill the void from letting go of stuff – and people. This is, indeed, a new beginning!
I pray that you, the reader, finds peace, love, and bright beautiful blessings in as many moments as you can throughout your life. It truly is a beautiful thing, life! There is so much we take for granted. There are too many things we hold value to when, really, there is no value in them. The one thing I’ve learned is the only real thing we can put value on is the love and compassion we have for others. The love I share with people and the passion I feel toward some people is what I hold valuable in my life. I hold those connections true to me. I want to make more of those connections. I want to share more with them. I want to express and share my gifts. I want to learn their gifts. I want to encourage them. I want to be encouraged. I want more …