I have began this post again and again. I have been trying to grapple with this tremendous paradox that what had shaken me to my roots a year before — the immensity of the system stacked against any individual person — is what has gauged me empty a year later. The world is so shit-big outside of your control in Haiti, it makes you wonder about God. And faith. It makes me think about the silence of Johannes de Silencio, grappling with the paradox of Abraham. About why he was word-less through it all.

It makes me wonder about death too.

On my last day in Haiti, we passed by the carcass of a dog, laying with her puppy next to her. Her tongue was out. Flies flying out of every orifice. The pup next to her was dead too, mouth close to her teat. People walked by in their Sunday bests, barely noticing the two stray, dead bitches. I will never forget that image — the trash piles, the flies, the white dresses and tiny blue bows–



I stopped journaling for a while, although I had promised myself not to. The past month of traveling and interviews has not given me the space and time to reflect. In some ways, I am glad. This trip to Haiti was rough, as all trips to Haiti have tended to be, although never before like this. Frustration, and sweat, and more frustration. I broke in ways that I didn’t think I can be broken in anymore. The trip is over, but Haiti never quite ends. She is there. One day, while eating my morning cereal and settling back into my American life, she’s going to break loose on me. But for now, she has been patient.

And luckily so. I have been traveling from city to city for the past four weeks and will continue for the next month. The superficial interactions that come with meeting new people have been a relief. They are fun, not emotionally exhausting.

Haiti has drained that side of me.