It’s been about 3 weeks now since I moved back to Haïti. Being a traveler, I have a few stuff that hit me when I got back. I was having lunch with a new friend the other day and she was telling me how difficult it was for her to like it here. We exchanged some thoughts about the Haïtian lifestyle and I decided that it would be good to share my thoughts here on the blog. even if you are not from Haïti, you might be able to relate this article to the reality of your home country.
What hit or bothered me? And what I appreciate more?
1- The lifestyle
The lifestyle here in Haïti has its PROS and CONS but it is definitely something that I can see myself spend my life in. Haïti is not for everybody, in my opinion. I can see when people won’t come back. If you are the kind to get easily irritated or to complain instead of adapting here, it is not for you. The Cons are the traffics, the bad customer service, and everything taking way much time than it should. The pros on the other hand is the fact that it is easier to relax in my opinion simply because there are many ways of escaping the busy capital. The beaches and mountains are simply a gift of nature and we should learn to use them more often. It is easier to manage things because we get help. It is common to find hot food on the table after work here in Haïti, which leaves us free from worrying about what we can cook before taking care of other things. It is easier to have a garden in our homes where we can simply go lay down to read a book or simply have a conversation with a good companion. People get more time, in my opinion, to enjoy life when they put their minds into it.
2- The mentality
This…is something I will have a hard time dealing with if I let it get to me.
In general, Haïtians have a stuck up mentality on many levels. From the way they perceive people to religious matters, there is a lot of work to do.
-People are constantly dealing with skin colour issues. This has been going on since forever in Haïti and people seem to be so comfortable in these ridiculous differences now that I am afraid this mentality will stay the same for a long time. Haïti is a very diverse country when it comes to people’s physical appearances. You can go from a blonde girl, to a really dark man and this is due to our history. There has been many mixtures of races in the previous centuries, which led us to this beautiful diversity. However, people here don’t embrace it. It is always a question of black or white, rich or poor (and mostly they associate wealth to the skin colour). Maybe the source of the problem resides in simple jokes we make like calling light skin people white (I myself use it as a joke sometimes) but I am wondering if it isn’t these simple ‘little’ things that keep the issue going… I will leave place here for deeper debates on this issue.
Most people here don’t know how to take risks. They all want big things and say they want to do more exciting stuffs but are SO SLOW when it comes to taking action. If you know me, you will know that this is one of the things that get the most on my nerves. Still people.. still doing this thing they don’t even like. Still talking bad about this person who did them wrong 10 years ago, still gossiping, still stuck at the same life level. It seems like people are scared of evolving and developing. The reason why it doesn’t frustrates me on my daily life is because I started practicing my energy distribution a few months ago. If something will take some of your energy, analyze if it’s worth it before you even start talking or letting it bother you. Many people here see traveling as going to the states or Canada (I said most, some are really open) and ask why you are ‘Can’t stay still’ when you say you are going far away….like there was a limitation on the world globe.
In Haïtian mentality, there are 2 religions: Catholics and Protestants..and life ends here. Not only they only know these two but they are constantly fighting each other. When you tell people you are a Christian, they automatically assume you are a protestant because you are not Catholic… I can’t blame them because I never knew about Christianity until I went to Canada in summer 2007 and discovered a different approach to the spiritual life. Anyways this is something that I find sad. So many limitations. This, in my opinion is also part of the mentality block. However, many people become more receptive after a conversation. I appreciate that.
While I am abroad, it is so normal for me to take little public transportations like tuktuk in India or a red car in Thailand. In Haiti, it is a whole other issue. People would rather not go to work if their car broke down instead of getting in a ‘camionette’ which is what we use for public transportation. When I was living here before leaving in 2010, I didn’t thin about it. For me, poor people took camionettes and people who had money had their cars. Writing this makes me realize that, before, I also had a closed mind without realizing it. I simply wonder why people can’t simply take transportation here without worrying of who will see them or what people will say.. We have so many nice public spots to relax but only a part of the population go. Because of certain lack of entertainment but mostly because it isn’t seen as a right place to go.
Never realized how beautiful St.Pierre was before I came back with other eyes. I think chilling on the public spot next tot his church could be a nice experience..
3- The little things
Despite of all the above statement, Haïti is my little island. It is where I feel the most happy. I feel so good when I am here and being here doesn’t stop me from pursuing my passion of traveling and discovering. I am currently saving up for a trip for october 2015. I feel like I live well here, I am happy. In my case, home is really where my heart is. Read about it here
–> Read Me
I am an island girl to the core and everything here makes me feel at Home.
They say ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world’ so instead of complaining, I will choose to be a light wherever I can and always respond with wisdom so I can attract people instead of being defensive.
Cheers to new beginnings!
A travel lover