Service Worker Blog: Life, Learning, and Lists
This post was originally published on Alexis’s blog, Barely Brave.
Haiti has been in the news a lot recently, accompanied by photos showing protests that lasted more than a week here in Port-au-Prince. Friends and family have graciously connected with me to ask if I’m still here and if I’m safe. The answer to both of those questions is yes.
The causes for the protests are complex and difficult. There is not just one simple reason, and there are not quick solutions. I am so thankful for the Haitians around me who offer deeper insight into the long history leading up to these events, the political changes and problems behind them, and the far reaching consequences for those living here, especially those most vulnerable.
I am most certainly not qualified to speak on all of the political matters in play, but I have spent time the last two weeks thinking about moments from my time here that have been beautiful in ways big and small. It helps to counter-balance my mind, and I thought I would share some of my list with you all. Because, whether you live in Haiti or not, we could all use some reflection on treasured moments, right?
Alexis’ Ongoing List of Happy Moments:
The woman who somehow communicated, despite my only being here 2 weeks and knowing little Creole, that I could cross a busy street with her because she was afraid I would get hit.
The way my favorite market woman sings “Bonjou Cherie” as I cross the street to buy more tomatoes.
The woman sitting next to me in the tap-tap asking the driver to stop for me after I had mistakenly yelled “Thank you, God” several times rather than “Thank you, driver” in order to get off the tap-tap during my first two months here.
The tap-tap driver who insisted I didn’t pay because I spoke Creole with him the whole ride (despite only knowing basic words at the time) and he was somehow impressed.
The way pickup soccer games in the street momentarily pause as motos drive through the center, but then start again as quickly as they stopped.
The moment I realized I could ride on the back of a moto without holding on…and hit my knee on a car bumper not long after that. My driver was most apologetic.
The time I fell on a dusty hill walking home from work and was quickly lifted up by four fellow pedestrians despite my total embarrassment.
The time a stranger stopped me on the street to tell me a 50 gourde bill was sticking out of my pant pocket and they didn’t want me to lose it on the ground if it fell.
The night a woman shared her umbrella with me as I walked home in the pouring rain, and we laughed the whole way at our feeble attempts to dodge streams of water coming down the street.
The excitement in our office the first day we were able to open and see each other after being closed for over a week due to protests.
Listing these moments (and many, many more) has brought joy and good reminders of my normal, daily life in Port-au-Prince. In the midst of some rough media coverage, I hope these stories help bring some balance in your mind as well. I love my work here. I have incredible co-workers. And, for now, we continue praying for peace to come and justice for the Haitian people.