it's hard for me to find words to describe what i do when i'm in haiti. the truth is, it's easier to navigate the language barrier from english to kreyol than it is to navigate the cultural differences and the problem of communicating my experience here back to the people i've left behind.
when i first got here i was surprised by the difficulty i had getting comfortable. i've been to haiti over a dozen times so i expected that i would be just fine. but what i found when i got here is that about three days in i experienced a deep loneliness and near desperation. the heat is difficult for me and i've had migraines every day since i arrived, but i don't think that accounts for what was going on with me. i cried a lot and felt a lot of panic about my ability to make it to september.
when i think back on it, i realize that the language wasn't making sense to me yet - my brain wasn't hearing and understanding it yet - so i felt isolated from the girls. i was a stranger in a way. marcia had been here three weeks when i arrived and it was obvious that everyone was very comfortable with her. she had picked up a lot of kreyol in that time. so i was an outsider feeling like things would be like this for my whole whole stay in haiti. it was awful.
since that day, things have been much better for me. i'm starting to get in a groove with the language. i'm picking up things that went over my head in the days after i first arrived. i've been able to connect with the girls and they're warming up to me too. this has made all the difference. it's just as hot and i'm still getting headaches every day, but i can handle that. it's good to begin to pass through the doors of belonging...even in this place where i will never really belong.
i've even started to have fun.