27 November 2011

Haiti Theme Song: Rihanna

My first time in Haiti was both challenging and addicting. I felt as if my theme song was this:

As I head back to this difficult context, I plan on it being: 

I never liked Rihanna until Haiti. 

22 November 2011


P/C: Shine Phinao
Every action has its consequences. Good or Bad. Sometimes you treasure them; sometimes you regret them. 

When I was 18 years old, I chose to attend a conservative Christian university to continue my education. There are many reasons why I chose the school, but I must admit, my attendance led to many frustrations. Frustrations with the institution, with its beliefs, with its policies, with the education received. 

There are many moments where I have wondered, "knowing what I know now, with all its frustrations, would I do it all again?" Sometimes, I have responded "NO!" wishing I had considered all the options and chosen a different course; thinking that I would have been happier.

But then I realise - no matter how frustrated I was, no matter how non-prestigious my university was, it led me to some really awesome people.

People I am proud to call some of my best, and longest, friends. People who share like mind-sets and worldviews, who love and can be loved, who bring joy and laughter. Who, no matter where we are in the world, or how long we have been apart, we can pick right back up where we left off.

When I think about this unintended consequence, I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

18 November 2011

Redefining Home

A few months ago, I wrote about my life in boxes and questioned where home was for me. My conclusion, somewhat, was that "my home has to be wherever I am."

I am retracting this conclusion for another...who says you only have to have one home? 

In that post, I examined the three options I felt I had to call home - LA, London, and Haiti. At the time, none felt like home - I think because I was looking at the "typical" definition of a home. According to my favourite dictionary.com, the first definition for home is "the usual residence of a person," which was how I was defining what home is. 

But if you look further down the list, home can also be defined as an idiom: "in a situation familiar to one; at ease." Now this definition is more relevant to the life of an expat, and the life of a traveler. We have many places that we are at ease; many locations in which we are familiar; loved ones in these homes that make it such.

In this case, then I have more than one place to call home, more than one situation with which I am familiar. Three at this point in life, although I am sure this number will increase. 

And it is with excitement and anticipation that I am able to share that I am leaving one home to return to the second via the third. 

In more clear terms, I am leaving Los Angeles to return to Haiti. I have been offered a position with a British organisation, and therefore will be returning to London for 2 weeks of orientation (27 Nov - 8 Dec), before heading to my beloved Port-au-Prince (9 Dec).

According to my dad, I live my life atypically - by this point, he expects nothing less. So then, it is only expected that my home is not according to the typical definition. To these "familiar situations" then, I will be glad to be welcomed home, not once but twice. 
LA, a la prochaine
Bon Retour, Haiti