"IMAMOU" - Through hard work, determination, faith, patience, blood, sweat and tears, RTL crossed the waters a year ago today, (August 20, 2014) from Oakland to Haiti to fulfill a DREAM. A MISSION. We strengthened and fortified historical legacies and established community ties that will bind us for life. The journey was real - 19 family members, 19 personalities! Not one, but two weeks. In Haiti. Life lessons were learned, personal strength and faith in relationships were tested. There were tears, frustration, anxiety, extreme fatigue, sickness, and a few REALLY?, WTF? moments, balanced with love, compassion, togetherness, sisterhood, brotherhood, communication, laughter, hugs, joy, excitement, ancestral visits, prayer, ceremony, ritual, and most importantly, personal truths and revelations. LIFE.
As I sit and reflect on the journey, I'm still in awe of the fact that WE actually did it! I am forever grateful to the members of RTL for always going above and beyond the call of duty and for taking on the responsibility of becoming an artistic vessel, medium, and educator of Haitian folkloric dance and musical traditions, to produce meaningful, spirited and thought provoking work. My love runs deep for each of you.
A sincere THANK YOU to our families, our wonderful Oakland/SF dance community and our supporters across the globe who believed in us. Lastly, I give thanks to God, my Ancestors, who continue to walk with me and keep me firmly planted. Ayibobo to the Lwa for your constant lessons, guidance and protection. Thank you for the dreams, messages and whispers in my ear. When in doubt, I felt the push and for sure, heard the call. Thank you for choosing me to do this important work.
"DREAM It, CREATE It. LIVE It... and WE DID THAT!"