Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Dirty Details

I move home from Haiti in six days.

Things I Will Not Miss

1. Mosquitoes
Electric racket of vengeance

2. Stank-nasty bathroom

3. Newborn-sized refrigerator (featuring broken-off freezer door)

4. Sweating

5. Dividing by 40
 40 gourdes to 1 dollar.

6. Riding in the cage truck

7. Actually, while we're at it, every other car, too. 

8. Everything else that's broken and/or nasty

9. Being the only one in the room who doesn't speak French

10. Being ugly
I'm ready to have my America hair back.

11. Anti-sexy

Things I Will Miss

1. Pikliz
Carrots, cabbage, scotch bonnet peppers, onion, garlic, vinegar

2. Having an armed guard
Johnson, mwen bon gadyen

3. Bougainvillea vines

4. Cerise juice
The Haitians say "cerise", like "cherries", but someone told me they're actually Chinese dwarf apples.

5. Living with five men
Real security is five men within yelling distance.

6. A 30-second commute
The view from my house to my work.

7. Kreyol
I can read that!

8. The inability to hide from reality
I met her eighteen months ago in a gross, understaffed orphanage. She's probably still there. She's probably walking around with that same look in her eyes. Can't hide here.

9. Haitian parents

Farewell gifts

Haitian parents are serious about their kids' education. In 3.5 years of parent conferences, I have never once had a parent argue with me about their children's weaknesses. 

10. Hummingbirds

So there you have it. The dirty details. The very good, very bad, and very ugly.

Six more days.


Dear person who will object and say that I am a) whining, and b) forgetting that 95% of Haitians have it worse than I do, I just have one thing to say to you: you're right. Have a nice day.


  1. Susan SchweikertMay 29, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    This has been an amazing journey to observe from afar. Thanks to you and Ben for not only sharing it, but sharing it with such insight, humor, grace and honesty. As I said when I first started following your blog-I think you should take your writings and pictures and publish them in a book because you have done an amazing and incredibly engaging feat of sharing your experiences. Thank you and welcome home.

  2. i've always admired you since peer helpers.
    best of luck adjusting to life back in the U.S... it's a trip.

  3. I will miss your blog posts. I have been a silent follower for sometime now. You have had an amazing journey. Thank you for the insight. My husband is from Haiti and we hope to spend some time over there in the not to distant future. Have a safe trip home. :)

  4. Welcome home, Katie and Ben. My prayers will continue for you as you adjust to your new life in the USA. God be with you, always.



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