In September of 1980 I got on an airplane to come to the United States. I heard my heart beating faintly in the back of my head. Eleven years later, on September 30, 1991, I learned that President Jean-Bertrand Aristide had been ousted from Haiti. The picture of Haiti in my mind went dark and became a blur of emotions. I felt a strong urge to return to my country, but to do what, to accomplish what?
I thought of friends, family and the home I used to live in, with a porch that seemed to be a million miles from the ground. I thought of my mother giving me fifty cents on a hot day to buy some sweetbread and a soda. I watched all these memories fade into darkness that day, full of hope for Haiti.
I feel I must do something. I must go to my darkened country because I love it. My heart is breaking and seems to beat no longer. A tear rolls down my face for families, friends, dreams, and my Haitian brothers and sisters who are standing in the midst of their broken country. No matter how dark the future may seem, we must not give up the fight. We will try and we will progress. There is no way that we will not! n
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.