En Ayiti

I have come to learn that you cannot understand a culture standing above it, looking down. I say that because, growing up, I understood America from beneath it. Little old me...looking up trying to make it to the streets lined with gold. Not until “i made it“ that i realized looking around that it was never above me. I guess, you haven’t made it until you realize that the world is all on the same level. 

This was a mental rant I sent to my friend Chika a little after I got back from Haiti. We had discussed my trip at great lengths, and for days  I had been trying to sum up my trip in one photo, one word or at least one thought.

Before my trip I was advised not to go, I was told it wasn't safe, I was told to be aware of diseases and crime. I was cautioned against the rebellious nature of an adventurous soul. I think I may have gone to Haiti to prove that anyone could go to Haiti. I cannot even begin to talk about the amazing people, the food and the breathtaking scenery, laid delicately against a backdrop of colonial fingerprints and earthly destruction.

I learned about the beauty of immersing myself in every bit of the culture. I was more willing to walk around in the "bad" parts of Haiti than I would ever be in Ghana. I was more willing to get into the water, and eat food from the streets. I was more willing to accept their culture than I even did mine. This is what it must feel like to be a foreigner in a place that felt too close to home.

The best way to describe Haiti is to experience all parts of it. I pulled together my favorite images from over 2,000 shot all on my iPhone. What you see is the juxtaposition of all parts of the culture. I purposely chose not to leave anything out. 

The Hills Have Eyes - A shot of the Haitian slums that lit up at night and forced me to sleep with the lights on.  

The Hills Have Eyes - A shot of the Haitian slums that lit up at night and forced me to sleep with the lights on.

 

Hotel Oloffson - I was freaked out by all the Vodoo symbolism that I just took photos with it.  

Hotel Oloffson - I was freaked out by all the Vodoo symbolism that I just took photos with it.

 

Dope Ass Truck - A visual representation of transportation. Old and New.  

Dope Ass Truck - A visual representation of transportation. Old and New.

 

Lundi Matin - A little girl named Lundi who learned to take selfies faster than i learned her name.  

Lundi Matin - A little girl named Lundi who learned to take selfies faster than i learned her name.

 

Jesus and all his disciples - A snippet of the over 25 men that would not allow me to get half naked in peace.

Jesus and all his disciples - A snippet of the over 25 men that would not allow me to get half naked in peace.

Photo Shoot Fresh - Since I couldn't get down and take a photo in front of the wooden poles, i took a photo of it.  

Photo Shoot Fresh - Since I couldn't get down and take a photo in front of the wooden poles, i took a photo of it.

 

Corn and the Crew - Because I was asking for this corn for days!!!

Corn and the Crew - Because I was asking for this corn for days!!!

We all Going to Hell - Because the door is open.  

We all Going to Hell - Because the door is open.

 

Haitian Earthquake Memorial.

Haitian Earthquake Memorial.

Haitian Earthquake Memorial - A nail in the coffin.

Haitian Earthquake Memorial - A nail in the coffin.

A walk to Meva - Shot from my pocket because no photos allowed.

A walk to Meva - Shot from my pocket because no photos allowed.

A walk to Meva - A shot from my pocket.

A walk to Meva - A shot from my pocket.

Carte Latin Restaurant - Silent walk exploring places I had no business being.

Carte Latin Restaurant - Silent walk exploring places I had no business being.

Bitch dont steal my vibe - Look closer

Bitch dont steal my vibe - Look closer

Photo Bomb - Or Nah?

Photo Bomb - Or Nah?

Go Bestfren thats my Bestfren!!!

Go Bestfren thats my Bestfren!!!

This could be us....but baggage allowance = 50lbs

This could be us....but baggage allowance = 50lbs

Deconstructed beauty.

Deconstructed beauty.

Innovation on wheels.

Innovation on wheels.

Where am I?

Where am I?

Fishing basket.

Fishing basket.

Old friends die young.

Old friends die young.

Eat your heart out.

Eat your heart out.

Fini

Fini

If you would like to visit Haiti for a similar cultural and volunteer immersion trip... visit www.fleurdevieonline.org

ThoughtsHayet Rida3 Comments