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This is part 2 of the “The USA Will Never Be Home” series, following a young woman’s decision to move back to Haiti from New York. In this post, we see the decision making process. Click here for Part 1.
Peyi Blan An Pa Pou Mwen
Am I really going to do this? Can I go back to Haiti? I know I definitely want to, but is it logical? Is it doable? I had made the decision to go back home, but now I had to sit myself down and go over the pros and the cons of moving back to Haiti. This process ended up being more of an elimination of cons, since the cons seemed to popping up from everywhere.
My biggest issue to date is my health. I suffer from asthma, and I have severe allergies. Something as mundane as laughing for too long can send me into a coughing and wheezing frenzy. Strong scents and smoke are the devil as well. So how can I move to a country where burning tires and trash is as much a part of daily life as breathing? I couldn’t stop thinking about G-Bobby Bonflo, a well-known Haitian rapper who died of an asthma attack surrounded by doctors and nurses in Haiti back in 2011. This story frightens me. The care at the hospital was so slow, they were not able to save him. On the other hand, my own father died of a heart attack in a hospital surrounded by doctors and nurses as well, right here in the United States.
I also wondered who I would have in Haiti. I have no support system back home. Yes, I have a friend or two and some distant relatives, but my mom and my brothers, my closest friends, are here in America. I am the youngest of my father’s four children, and the only girl, so I’ve always been coddled and spoiled rotten. That is the whole reason why I have been itching to be independent and free. But how independent can I really afford to be? Independence is cool, but I often worry about the line between independence and solitude. Who will stand by me if something goes wrong? Who will rush me to the hospital if my allergies flare up? Certainly not my old sickly grandfather. Will my roommate/business partner be enough? As the saying goes, vwazinaj se dra blan.
A friend of mine recently asked during a lighthearted talk about american politics: “what will you do if Trump wins?” My unfiltered answer was to say that I’m not sticking around to find out. The ridiculous news of how American presidential elections are going have been a huge factor in my decision making process. I am not by any means saying Haitian elections are going any better, with our fifty-thousand candidates, long delays, reports of election fraud, and alarming civil unrest. Shootings, kidnappings, all of these things are alarming to me. But shootings happen everywhere everyday. You could die from a stray bullet in Haiti, you could die from police brutality in the U.S. A young woman was kidnapped, tortured and killed in Haiti around the same time another young Black woman died in police custody in the United States. In both of these instances, justice has yet to be served (and probably never will be) for either victim. Mass shootings happen in America, France, Haiti and everywhere else. It’s like Djakout Mizik said, Pa gen pwoblèm ki pi dous pase pwoblèm. If I’m at risk wherever I go, I think I would rather take my chances in the motherland. Besides, that’s where I’ve been the happiest.
Perhaps my connecting Haiti to happiness is delusional.
Perhaps my connecting Haiti to happiness is delusional. Haiti was the last place where my family was complete and still together, or maybe it is because I was a child with no responsibilities when I last lived there. But now, as an adult, my happiness cannot rely solely on my family. My mom will not be providing a car or gas money, I can’t go to my dad when things go wrong. This will be a whole new level of independence mixed with the possibility of loneliness. But I already provide for myself now, I just have to do what i do in the United States back home. If I can build here, I can build anywhere. Besides, being successful in Haiti is more meaningful to me than being successful in America.
At the end of the day, I’m scared that when I go back I will find out, like my mom, that things are to different to handle and I might come running back with my tail between my legs. I’m afraid that I’m chasing an alternate reality that only exists in my memories. Throughout my process, with every negative that came up, whether I was able to brush it aside or not, my decision remained the same. I am moving back home, and I’m excited about it. So, it’s decided. I’m going back home. Now, I just need to figure out how to announce this to my mom…