Sunday, January 24, 2010

Haïti chérie …………..

The past couple of weeks have been rather unbearable for me due to the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake that shattered parts of my homeland Haïti. This blog post is a reflection on what Haiti means to me.

My title alone got tears pouring down my cheeks. Haiti Cherie means: My Darling Haïti and is a traditional patriotic song of Haïti.

I was Born in Port-au-Prince on and raised by my aunt & Grandma when my parents emigrated to the US when I was at the age 5 in search of better life for myself and my little sister Sophia. I spent my childhood and part of my teenage years there. I Left Haïti when I was 16 years of age and I’ve been in the US now for 17 years.

 




Port-au-Prince, like any large capital city is a busy place. A nonstop beehive of activity. Cars and people heading this way and that. Lots of markets, stores and merchants selling just about anything you could ask for. Smells of fresh food cooking fill the streets. I walked, ran and rode my bike through many of those streets as a girl with my friends. When we would get hungry we would shout for the “marchand du riz” the rice seller for a cup of hot rice or we would shout Pistache griye! Pistache griye! for my favorite, roast peanuts. My Family and I lived in Port-au-Prince for most of the year but since my grandma is originally from the country side town of L’asile, which is southwest of Port-au-Prince, we would spend the three months of summer in the countryside. Those summer days are some of my most fondest and vivid images when I think of Haiti. The countryside folks are super polite, the most respectful and friendly. So friendly that a total stranger would ask you to stay for dinner and sleep over for the night or as long as you needed.




It wasn’t always a smooth ride getting to L’asile in those colorful yet jam packed buses and bumpy roads but the scenery is gorgeous and once we were there it was truly like paradise. As soon as I’m off the bus I’d drop my luggage and run to see if there are coconuts that have fallen and are still fresh to drink and eat. We took our showers and baths in a spring fed waterfall and if we forgot to pack soap my grandmother would pick the leaves of a tree that would foam just like soap and smelled delicious. lots of land to roam around, fruit trees of every sort and a short walk would take us to an excellent fishing spot. There was no such thing as poor in L’asile because you had everything you needed. Port-au-Prince was much harder to make ends meet.


I do have family members currently in Haïti . We got word that my Aunt is alive as well as my cousin and we are waiting to hear more news about our extended family members. Unfortunately my uncle is not doing so well due to a severe head injury.

I’m one of those people that don’t cry often and said that I’ll save my tears for something worth crying over. Well this is it for me I’ve been leaking for the passed two weeks especially when I’m home alone. I finally got the courage to write this blog.

I don’t want to sadden everyone’s heart like mine so I’m stopping here and leaving you with a song titled Haïti sung by Josephine Baker in the 1934 film Zou Zou. I think this song truly describes my cry for Haïti.





The last two films are from the 40s and 50s of Haïti.




29 comments:

A Whimsical Girl Named Debbie said...

Thank you for the congrats, my sweet!

But on to more important matters: Over the last week, I periodically stopped by your blog & when I saw that you had not posted since early January, I would say to myself, "Where is Fab. I hope everything is okay." But, I shrugged it off to maybe she's busy with work things & life in general. Oh sweetie, I am sooo sorry to hear about your personal connection to what is happening in Haiti. I am praying for you & your family! I wish I could reach through these internet wires and give you a big hug. We might not understand why this is happening, but God hears & sees your tears and He's working it all out for the good. I don't have to know you personally to love you & feel your pain, so please know that there's a Whimsical Girl Named Debbie in Pittsburgh that does love you & she's thinking about you & praying for you.

http://girlwhimsy.blogspot.com

Fabiola "Fab" said...

oh my Debbie,

You're such a wonderful person. Thank you soo much for all you love and prayer. you're an amazing person! I'm speechless by your comment.

xoxo

Lara said...

So sorry to hear about your family in Haiti. I did not know that is where you are from. I pray for you and your family.

Q's Daydream said...

Oh Fab, I'm so sorry, Thank you for sharing your story. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

autumndiva said...

Just a note of encouragement to continue your footsteps ahead.

aria said...

I am so sad and baffled about this whole thing. It just does not seem fair that so many people die at one time. I suppose the only explanation we have is that God has taken them home.

Aya Smith said...

Yes, thank you so much for sharing your story! It's good for us to hear the truth and it's good for you to relieve some stress through others... I doubt many of us understand the grief and pain and worry you are going through... and all we can do is pray and be here as your friends...

Take care, love!
~Aya

fashionforwriters said...

My heart goes out to you and your family and your country. I've been watching the news coverage nonstop and my heart is heavy with the news that's coming in. I know that these are shatteringly sad, dark times for you and everyone affected by the earthquake, and I hope, hope for the safety and care of you and your loved ones. (And thank you for sharing wonderful stories of your childhood. Have you ever read Edwidge Danticat?)

Lots and lots of love,
Jenny

Justice Pirate said...

I love josephine Baker's music so much. Her dancing was so amazing for that time too. I think Michael Jackson took some of her moves! hehe.

I think your story of how you grew up is wonderful. I really have a heart for Haiti and have a friend hoping to go there to help. It has been hurting my heart that I hear people in the US saying that we should only help "our own" when our own is everyone. . we're all humans. It doesn't matter who we help as long as we are doing it.

Thanks so much for sharing and I am glad that you have heard positive news about your cousin and aunt.

valncami said...

I am so sorry for all the pain you have had to go through lately. But it is good to know your family is alive. My heart goes out to your Uncle and I hope he recovers. The people of Haiti have been in my thoughts and prayers and will continue.
What beautiful memories of your childhood living there. It sounded like Paradise in L'asile.
XX
Stay strong:)

Valerie
abutterflybyday.blogspot.com

Adelaide's Homesewn said...

thank you for having the courage to write this, fab. thank you for sharing your beautiful point of view. you are in my prayers.
maria

Leproust Vintage said...

oh my goodness, Fab, I had no idea that you are from Haiti. I am so sorry to hear of the tragedy, and the hurt that you and your family are currently suffering because of it. Thank you for sharing your story. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I hope that you uncle recovers well...is he able to receive any medical attention?

Let me know when you are feeling up to it, and we can grab a cup of coffee...coffee with a friend always lifts my sprits, even if just for the hour or so I get my mind off of things.

Rebecca, The Clothes Horse said...

I think its so brave of you to be so open here. I'm glad you know at least some of your family is safe. I hope everyone else comes through as well...

sealaura said...

So sorry to hear about your uncle. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful tribute to your Haìti chérie.
Warmest regards,
Laura

augustalolita said...

i was having a hard time reading through your post. you know that feeling you get on the back of your throat when your trying not to cry. that was me. even writing this is very hard. you painted a beautiful picture of how haiti looks and how wonder the people are. everything that has happened have been very devastating. my thoughts and prayers goes out to you and your family, and the rest of haiti.

PinkBow said...

this is a beautiful post from the heart, thanks so much for sharing this with us xoxo

Blondie said...

Wow...what a wonderful post. This is truly touching. I am so glad to see you back! I have been a little busy myself. THanks for visiting and commenting on my Sherlock Holmes post honey. Have a great week! Kori xoxo

Lexie said...

this is the most touching post i think i have ever read. i am so sorry that you had to watch from afar the devastation to your mother country. my heart goes out to you and your family.

Rachel C. said...

You are in my thoughts, dear. This is such a tragedy. xo

Elaine said...

Fab, I'm so sorry this had such a great impact on you! It is truly a heartbreaking situation and I wish you and your families the best.

Sherin said...

Its so sad what happened in Haiti, especially with your personal conection there!

I hope all your loved ones are ok!

Anonymous said...

Bon swa Fabiola,

You did a great job writing about Haiti. I have been thinking about you everyday. Oh, before I
forget...email me with your email so I can send you the Haiti poster. It's done and there's a link to look at it. Tell everyone hi.

Mwen sonje ou anpil!

Love,

Debbie

Bug said...

I'm so sorry to hear this hun. I hope your uncle gets better very soon and I wish the best for I your family. I have no idea what you are feeling, so its hard for me to know what to say, but I do believe that things will be ok. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Take care of yourself Fab.

Hugs,

Bug

Sissy said...

Fab, my heart is with you and Haiti. Many sad stories appear in TV everyday that make me cry. I know there is no comfort in this situation and just want to show you my love and let you know you and Haiti are in my prayers.

Ariella said...

Reading this makes me so sad. It's certainly been extremely devastating hearing about the big earth quake on Haiti, but at the same time it feels so far away and therefore difficult to understand. But reading this post has touched me a lot. I hope all of your family will be okay.

Helen said...

You're really in my thoughts, what has happened in Haiti is terrible and I hope your family are all okay x x

a cat of impossible colour said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story, and I'm so very sorry to hear this. :( Thinking of you and your family, and of the whole nation of Haiti.

Andrea xx

Django et Coco said...

I'm so sorry for your family, your friends, yourself and your homeland! I can't imagine the devastation and pain that come through such a tragedy. I truly wish that they will soon rebuild a new place of hope where everyone can start sharing happy memories once more!

-Coco from Our Paper Moon

Style Odyssey said...

Oh my goodness, Fab...I am just seeing this, forgive me.

Your post and photos are very touching. I had no idea you are originally from Haiti. My heart goes out to you and your family. I cannot imagine what you've been feeling, but I hope the comments you receive add some encouragement to your days. And I hope with time, it will be less painful.

I've felt a deep sympathy for the people of Haiti, ever since I moved to the Caribbean 12 years ago. Here in the British Virgin Islands, the Haitian people are our neighbors, separated only by a few islands. Yet Haiti seems worlds away from the privileged masses here.

Sending you hope, prayers and encouragement, Fab. Of course, I don't know you, but think you're Fab-ulous indeed. Thank you for sharing this personal story from your heart.

xoxo