Tuesday, April 9, 2013

10 reasons I love living in Haiti

10. the church is the social hub--There's something to be said for having a social life that revolves around the church, especially when the church is within walking distance from your house.

9. the slower pace of life--I don't have meetings to attend. I don't keep a day planner. I don't have places to go after work, so I don't have to think about making dinner between work and other stuff. It's nice not to rush around like a crazy person every day.

8. the mountains--I don't think gazing at mountains, near or far, will ever get old. I also love the fact that the temperature is a good 10* lower on the mountain than in the city. And I love/hate the exercise I get walking up and down the mountain to school. (I curse the mountain when I'm doing the walking and bless the mountain when my pants feel baggy.)

7. the beauty--have you seen the flowers here? Or the mountains? Or the waterfalls, beaches, and lakes? The landscape is gorgeous.

6. the chivalry--I don't think I've carried anything heavier than Isaac since I arrived in Haiti. The very clear gender roles mean that any nearby male will come to my aid if a task is "too difficult" for a woman. Some women might be offended, but I rather enjoy it!

5. the fresh produce--Have you ever had a banana or mango fresh from the tree? So much tastier than the stuff Americans buy in the grocery store. We buy most of our produce from the local farmers' market, and most of it is so fresh it's still covered in dirt from the field.

4. the cultural focus on relationships and people--I'm a task oriented person, so I still get sucked into the "gotta get this done" mindset, but I'm learning to enjoy people and the time I have with them--even if I don't accomplish all I set out to.

3. the weather--This is a no-brainer. I live on a tropical island and 60* is considered cold. I'll take the humidity and heat over winter any day.

2. the resiliency of the people--Life is hard here, but my friends are making it work. My students are rolling with the punches, making lemonade when life gives them lemons, and generally showing me what it means to keep on going when all you want to do is give up.

1. my students--I haven't shared as many stories about my students lately, but they are still as charming as ever. They always ask how Isaac is doing and often want to know why I don't bring him to class. My students are dedicated to their education and determined to rise above their current circumstances. They want to learn and put forth great efforts to get an education.

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