Hey guys! Before I begin, thank you so much for the support and positive response to my last post! Anyway, it’s officially summer and the 4th of July called for celebration as per usual. With the national pride in mind, I thought of my own roots and ancestry.
As a child of immigrant parents, it’s really easy to simply be “American” and forget that there is so much more to me that I have yet to know.
In elementary school, my classmates made it seem like I was wrong for being Haitian as if America isn’t a huge melting pot. Growing older, (with the feisty attitude I had), I embraced my roots but didn’t actually understand it.
Kids can be J E R K S (surprise) and will try to make others feel bad for the things they cannot change such as race. Take that Rachel Dolezal! I attempted to invent myself the way any typical teenager would, adopting what I learned outside instead of listening to what my parents had to tell me.
This year, I had the opportunity to take an amazing Creative Writing course that taught me to make connections to what happens in my life and in the world. On this journey of reflection, I realized I had a longggg way to go.
One of the prompts from the class was to take a moment and connect to an event that occurred around the time. Now before I get into the details, take note that at the time of the story, I was a dramatic 8th grader who thought that everything needed to revolve around me. I also got in trouble. A lot.
In 2010 one of my greatest acts of rebellion was flushing my phone down the toilet. Why you ask? I was tired of getting grounded and in my mind it seemed like the best thing to do. I felt like I was in a movie, proving to my parents that I could go without a phone as a challenge.
That was also the week that the earthquake in Haiti occurred.
Thinking back to that week and how LOUD my house was from scolding me, the news, telephone ringing 24/7 I realized how ungrateful I was for the sacrifices my parents made for me.
As a young teen in America, it’s so easy to forget where you came from. We try to create our own stories, neglecting what was before us. The new age of technology causes so many superficial attitudes and relationships. This is why we have to take the time to disconnect and focus on the parts of ourselves no one can engineer.
My cousins are here for the summer, and while they are young – I have never met such wise and humble kids in my life. They have so much pride for Haiti that it motivates me to educate myself more on the language and culture. My Creole and French also needs some dusting up so my cousin is teaching me while we help her with English.
How could I not be proud of a country who was the first independent republic in the world, gaining independence from successful slave revolution in 1804? I guess my rebellious nature comes from somewhere.
Here’s the poem I wrote in the class based on tying together the day of the earthquake and flushing my phone. Feel free to comment below. Wave your flag, people.
Our minutes were unlimited,
Conversations weaving in and out of lines
Every week I was punished for another crime.
Turning the door knob,
She would take my phone,
I could not talk back.
January 12th 2010,
The phones would not stop ringing.
Was this according to His plan?
More and more horrific information shared.
Three million people on the same cord,
Homes filled with incessant chatter
Conversations weaving in and out of lines
Vibrations flowing and quaking,
The dog ran to owner,
Barking because it had never seen a wrath so strong.
The trembles continued all through the house.
I reached for the leash,
It was too late.
Rollover would not suffice.
I took out the battery,
And watched it whirl down the bowl,
Over 100,000 shovels filled with dirt,
Aftershocks draining Port-au-Prince of energy.
Hades had taken control.
Towers, collapsing, and tumbling,
Telephones, dialing, and voicemails,
We could only cry out to God.
His notifications were piling.
S.O.S to the survivors,
In search for signals.
“Can you hear me now?”
My phone could not be salvaged.
No charge would bring back the contacts,
Family and friends were a pixel in the sewer.
While I took time to raise my volume,
I did not think of Haiti.
My beloved land,
How could I forsake you?
Roots dug so far in the ground that no man could engineer,