To Haiti and Back: Au Revoir, Haiti

By Adam Mankoski July 21, 2010

The “North State for Haiti” team should have known we were out of our element the minute we turned the corner into the waiting area at Miami International Airport to board our flight to Port-au-Prince. The boarding lounge had transformed into part hair salon, part disco, part card room and part coffee shop. Before we even left U.S. soil, we had our first glimpse of life in Haiti.

Now that we’re home and slowly getting back to familiar routines, I am trying to encapsulate our week in Haiti by invoking every sight, sound, smell and texture I experienced, starting with the blaring boom box at Gate 10 at Miami International. I’m calling on all of my senses to help me wrap my head around one of the most sad-but-hopeful, exciting-but-peaceful, and familiar-but-foreign places I have ever travelled.

But would Haiti become more knowable if I immersed myself in Haitian life for a month or a year? Au contraire. I’m certain that the more time I spend in her quiet villages and noisy, bustling, dusty, multi-scented urban spaces, defining Haiti would be exponentially more difficult.

Read more of the article from To Haiti and Back: Au Revoir, Haiti.