On Monday we celebrated the move to St. Vincent’s new location in Santo. There was an open house to show the greater Haitian community the wonderful setting and people that make up the school. Many of the female students spent the day getting ready for the highlight of the event – several Haitian dances that they have been practicing for weeks. I spent the morning acting as dance mom, buttoning tutus, putting flowers in hair, and running around trying to find necklaces.
A Haitian event would not be complete without some technical difficulties, which took place in the form of a loss of music during the first dance, but everything was smooth sailing after that. There were three beautiful dances, some musical performances, “barbecue” (a term that, as a Memphian, I loosely apply), a lot of dancing to Haitian pop, and even a few celebrity appearances! All in all, it was a wonderful schoolwide function that showcased the joy that perpetually radiates from these kids.
This is a bit of an abbreviated post since I left Haiti on Wednesday for a family function in Seattle. I haven’t quite fully slipped back into the “land of abundance” as Dr. Susan Nelson called it. Right off the bat I overindulged in fried food in the Atlanta airport and immediately regretted it. I have woken up at exactly 2 am every night because that is the regular 5 am wake up time I am used to in Haiti. I keep finding myself turning the shower down because I am not used to the hot water. I was not even remotely phased yesterday when another car recklessly cut in front of our car, mere feet from our moving bumper.
All of these minor incidents combined made me realize just how much I have settled into the Haitian lifestyle and my life at St. Vincent’s – and I look forward to a warm welcome when I return next week.