The past couple of weeks have gone by so quickly. Planning my trip to Haiti has consumed my thoughts and time since the idea first entered my my mind. Consumed in a good way. I had to book tickets, figure out where I was going to stay and who I was going to visit with. Fortunately the good folks over at Sonje Ayiti, the Cap-Haitien Health Network, TransAfrica Forum and Haiti 2015 have been SO helpful.
So how has this affected my personal life? Well that’s been interesting. My friends and family have been amazing. The outpouring of financial, spiritual and moral support has been invaluable. I talked their ears off, pestered them with details and shared my fears about this whole journey. They helped me raise over $1,600 and counting….
Without the support of so many people, this entire trip would not be possible.
The day I left for Miami was not so hot. My day at work was mentally intense. I was stressed out and ready to go. I even went a bit dramatic on a special someone. Luckily he confirmed that, no, he doesn’t think I’m crazy. He said that I just need to SLOW down. By the time I walked out of the office at 4:30pm…I felt a release. I felt the weight of the stress caused by my job slowly lift off of my shoulders. This trip is apart of a larger need for freedom.
While in Miami, I’m staying with two friends who are daring and hopeful beyond belief. In fact their 1,500 mile walk from Miami to Washington, DC inspired me to dare to DREAM. Juan Rodriguez and Felipe Matos are two of the four Trail of Dreams Walkers. I first met Felipe and Juan in 2009 during a Youth Organizing Training for Immigration Reform. The two young activists/organizers left an impression on my life and how I viewed my role in the social justice movement. Last night we talked about the broader immigrant rights movement with them and other members of Students Working for Equal Rights (SWEAR). The conversation re-energized my mind and spirit.
I’m looking forward to the rest of the day. I’ve never seen Miami this way, through the eyes of two DREAMers in the neighborhood of Little Havana. Miami is so much more than clubs and beaches. It’s helping to slow down and get my mind right for what will be one of the most significant trips in my life.