Remember I mentioned I'm chronicling my travels to Haiti, 2003-2015? Well, I'm ALMOST done! A year and five months later... Whew! I won't front. It's been a tedious process. Scanning old photos and revisiting journal entries, has kept me an emotional wreck, there aren't enough hours in the day, my computer has a mind of its own, and I've waited until the very end to transfer video footage from those mini DV tapes, onto a hard drive, with a rented camera, cause the camera that was used to record the footage is busted, and on its last leg. I knew it wouldn't be easy.
Aside from the woes, looking at these old videotapes, along with the most recent clips, has put the project into perspective. I get it. This footage wasn't meant to just stay in a box. I came across some material from my first visit to Lakou Souvenance in 2007. Hadn't seen this footage in YEARS. This was a time before the Cultural Exchange Trips were a thought. A time where I was hungry (still) for the knowledge and excited about what Haiti would teach me on that particular trip. I'm happy to share it with you, and with my folks from the Bay who've experienced the beauty and magic of Lakou Souvenance.
This video highlights several days at Lakou Souvenance with Societe La Belle Etoile. Souvenance is one of three Lakou's, (Badjo, Soukri) located in Gonaives, Haiti. This particular Lakou pays homage to the Spirits of Dahomey.
Video Credit: Daniel Brav Brevil | April 2007
This video is part of an upcoming project: Reflections: AYITI CHERIE - A Black Women's Journey (2003-2015)
It's no secret that I have hang-ups when it comes to public speaking. I know where it stems from, so at least I can continue to work on my insecurities and improve.
I was approached by @beenishfahmed, a journalist who was reporting on the social, political, and personal life of Vodou in Haiti. She was curious about my experiences at Lakou Souvenance, and wanted me to speak on the fact that my people from the Bay - my friends, students and RTL sisters were there to experience the ultimate ceremony where devotees revere ancient, ancestral spirits, that link us to our native homeland. Of course, I had reservations, but you know what? I did it. I just spoke from the heart. It's a process...still learning and growing.
Follow @beenishfahmed on IG. She took some amazing shots during her stay in Haiti. Will keep you all posted when her work is published.
#lakousouvenance #vodou #haitianvodou #deka #culturalexchange #thebaytohaiti2016 #haiti #gonaives #growth #publicspeakingwoes #documentation #raratoulimen
Photo Credit: Jarrel Phillips - participant "The Bay to Haiti" Cultural Exchange Trip 2016