This time last year, I was in Jacmel, Haiti. I love everything about Jacmel. It's my to-go-to place to unwind when the hustle and bustle of Port-au-Prince gets too much.
I had an invitation from one of my teachers, Dieufel Lamisere.to teach Haitian Folkloric dance to his amazing group of dancers, Haiti Dance Co. I participated in the most serene, moving dance video on the beach, honoring La Sirene and Met Agwe, was interviewed by Raw Travel, an adventure travel TV series (which is currently being aired!), spent time at my spiritual home Sosyete Nago, attended ceremonies, spoke to and greeted Lwa, poured libations in Gede's room, chilled on the beach, ate fresh lobster for days, drank way too many rum punches (I don't even drink, but in Haiti...) rode motos for days, to-and-fro, breathing in the salty air from the coast, with the wind whipping through my fresh braids...Paradise.
I'm clear that you can't have joy without struggle.
Back in the States, Alton Sterling was murdered in cold blood by a police officer. While in Haiti, I watched in horror, Philando Castile's dying moments from a viral Facebook Live video, after being shot by police. I received devastating news from someone I loved, that rocked my world and shook me to my core...In a fucking email. Heart shattered in a million pieces. My spirit was heavy and burdened with grief. The pain was raw and deep. It was a cold, dreary, rainy day at Hotel Cyvadier. Haiti too, was crying along with me.
I left Jacmel tired, defeated, angry, broken, hurt and confused. A first. A year later, so much has changed. I'm in a better place. Struggles don't magically disappear. Still doing the hard work and honoring the lessons + my life's journey and what is meant to be. For me. A year later, still processing it all...
Jacmel on my mind.
reflection: journal entry
July 2016 | jacmel, haiti
In this video I'm at a Petwo ceremony at my spiritual home. There is NOTHING light about it. Fire. Machetes. Magic. Aggressive Spirits. The collective energy that's conjured within the temple is real and powerful. This fiery Petwo energy is what I need today. We've got to fight this war that's causing trauma and fear amongst us. We MUST create our own power! We got to keep calling on our ancestors and lighting the fire to elevate the spirits! BILOLO! to all the Petwo spirits today and everyday.