Christmas 2010 In Haiti

A year ago, this time, life was so much different…

The excitement of going home for Christmas was indescribable. 1 more week to go, couple more days to go…my self, my friends, my siblings, my parents, all so eager to spend an unforgettable holiday. What a terrific Christmas break it was! I was home with the most prefect temperature, surrounded by friends and family, ate delicious meals, eating mangoes every morning, seeing old friends, great laughs at Bingo night…A perfect Holiday, and the last before it all took a turn.

January 7th, I flew back to the States. I recall telling a friend of mine to hide my passport so that I could stay longer that morning. I can see the smile on his face as he told me that I had to leave but he knew that I would come back in a couple of months because Haiti was my drug and I just couldn’t stay away. I remember hugging him for the last time, only I did not know that I would never see him again.

I walked down the stairs of the school, and telling everyone that I won’t say goodbye because I will be back soon. I remember going to the airport and waiting for my friend to arrive for we were leaving together, and waving goodbye to her father as he dropped her off, but neither did I know that it would also be the last time that I see him…

Here we are again, at this time of the year, where I am usually so excited to go back home, only this time I try to avoid picturing what Christmas back home will be like. How do you celebrate when your heart is still aching, and everything around you reminds you of what used to be? How do you go home and not fear asking for those that you haven’t seen, because you don’t want to hear the reality? How do you celebrate when it is impossible to understand how it all changed in a few seconds? Rubles everywhere, painful memories, people still leaving in tents, dying from all kinds of diseases, and still having to deal with the insecurity. It feels like a dream, like it’s unreal and the worse part is that you can’t seem to wake up from this nightmare….

My thoughts and prayers are with my friends and families whose Christmas 2010 will probably feel like a burden. Those who still wish that they could see their loved ones one last time, those who have lost so much more than material things. I pray that God gives you the strength needed to survive this agony, and help us accept this gruesome reality that comes with living in Haiti, being from Haiti, having family in Haiti, and loving this country that we will always call home…

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