Thursday, October 22, 2009
Muasu a si la vie – Escojo Mi Vida – I choose my Life
I’ll get right to it…. A few weeks ago I went on the viaje of all viajes, the intercambio of all intercambios …. Duveaux goes to Las Pajas, Catholic meets Cristian and Dominican meets Haitian and despite all odds, we had an absolute blast. For so long I have been wanting to bring my kids from Duveaux to Las Pajas. Mostly for personal reasons, but also to show my kids a Batey in the east and potentially put an end to some of the stereotypes their parents, neighbors, etc. have implanted in their brains about Haitians.
This trip was probably the highlight of my entire Peace Corps service and it happened two months before departure! Regardless, I got to show my family from Duveaux, my family in Las Pajas – my two worlds meet! It was such a wild feeling. I was nervous about my campo Dominicans coming to this sacred little piece of my life, as they are teenagers and 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 year olds will be 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 year olds regardless of my emotional and psychological state. Things started off a little shaky, but once we got started, my kids did not want to leave! It was awesome. We did a treasure hunt to get to know Las Pajas and one another a little. Then Duveaux did a charla on desigualdad de genero, we threw in a brindis, a public speaking taller and there you have it! The best part of all had to have been the show de cantos, cuentos y talentos! It was like no other I have seen before and all the educational, cultural activities that were planned did not even come close to the effect show de talentos had on our groups. It was just a Catholic Dominican, Cristian Haitian extravaganza. We heard and saw everything from Escojo rhymes, Haitian jokes, socio dramas, incredible dance moves and needless to say, Brianna and I shared a large cup of wine afterwards!
Total success! Reflecting after getting back from our adventure, I realized what an impact this trip had on my Dominican teenagers. They were in awe of the kindness Las Pajas showed them and the tranquility of a predominately Haitian community. I don’t think any charla on discrimination or guest speaker could have even held a candle to the justice this viaje gave to my campo kids.