It is five o’clock in the morning, and I can already hear the sound of cars driving, the rapid footsteps of citizens walking to places of hope, and vendors preparing their merchandise to sell. The pleasant scent of my grandmother’s coffee completely awakens me at around eight o’clock. I rise from my bed, which are basically layers of sheets and a pillow on a solid concrete floor.
I perform my usual routine of bathing and brushing my teeth in the bathroom, which is located outside in the yard and made of long lasting hay-like material that hides only the body. There is not a mirror to look at myself and the ground I stand on consists of rocks mixed with mud. Although the bathroom appears and sounds unsafe, I feel totally secure as I bathe.
After getting dressed, I sit under the tree on a tarnished wooden chair in the yard and gaze at the small, green and dark brown house of only three rooms, located next to the yard. I can see the two dogs and the cat looking for food to eat, the young men across the street playing dominoes laughing and yelling at each other, my two aunts cooking rice and red beans for lunch in the sweltering kitchen and the sweaty sellers carrying their goods under the blazing sun. I hear my little cousins, arguing, laughing and playing hide and seek.
The sound of Kompa music is also heard in the far distance. The tropical, fresh air blows towards me, making my body feel as light as a feather while slightly moving the hairs on my skin. As I reflect about the places I have been to, I realize I have never felt more comfortable anywhere else before.
In Haiti, at my grandmother’s house, my body feels powerful, healthy, and free. The constant hugs and praises I receive from uncles, aunts, and cousins provides a sense of worthiness and I feel treasured. On other hand, living in St. Louis alone with my dad provides little comfort. The cherished closeness is not present and communication is minimal to say the least. It seems as though the support and cheering section of my life is gone, often leaving me with a feeling of loneliness.
Although Haiti is a poor country, it is the richest place for me because I feel like a high-ranked person there. The people of Haiti are so motivating and inspirational; the sense that anything is possible is prevalent for me. There, I can move a mountain if I wanted.
If I choose to go out with a messy hair-do and unstylish clothing, I would still feel like the most beautiful person in the world. This peaceful place brings a higher level of joy and happiness to my life that I can ever feel anywhere else. Haiti takes away all of my past troubles and produces hope for the future.
After seeing the way the people struggle to survive and make ends meet, I am certain I will succeed in whatever I undertake because of the numerous opportunities to prosper America offers. However, it is the experiences of Haiti that motivate my soul. The people give me hope about the battles they face everyday. It always stuns me to see how I transform into a complete different person after I visit there. All of the sudden, my soul is renewed and I am optimistic, grateful for the life I have, less pressured, and mindful of my actions. I learn different lessons such as education is imperative and I am not alone. If I had never returned to Haiti, I would not have been so determined and focused today. To sum it all, even though I am a citizen of America, Haiti will forever remain, ‘My home sweet home’.
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