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  • Writer's pictureaymexume

#LivingInAlgiers – In a bit of a funk

This week was tough.

It’s been hard for me to find some joy this week. I usually can find it in random, mundane things. It’s usually effortless. I’m a happy, joyful kinda girl. But this week… whew! I could barely find the energy to get out of bed. But I allowed myself to feel my emotions. They came in waves, washing over me. And, at times, almost drowning me. Anger. Despair. Hopelessness. Helplessness. Sadness. A lot of sadness. I sat with them.

I didn’t shed a single tear. I think I ran out of tears to cry for Haiti. The well has run dry. But the news still cut deep, and the pain is, at times, unbearable. And there’s also the guilt, weighing on me. The guilt to have survived. The guilt of the safe cocoon provided by unwanted privileges. The guilt of not doing enough, not doing a darn thing. I understand. I empathize. But I haven’t experienced. And I feel guilty for how grateful I am for not having experienced the horrors my sisters and brothers survived.

Then it rained.

Having spent the first 25 years of my life in Port-au-Prince, it’s weird how I like the rain. I’ve learned to seek shelter when it starts pouring. But I never got around to fear it. It is said that Haitians do not fear bullets, but they fear rain. Could it be our way of saying that we are used to violence, but haven’t yet found a way to prepare for natural phenomena?

For the first time in years, I’ve smelled the rain. Its earthiness. And there was something comforting about it. Something that reminded me of home, of Haiti. And, like we do at home, people here get a bit nervous when it rains. For the same reasons we do. There are some many similarities between my people and the people here. There are many differences too. But I think the former outweigh the latter.

And, as the rain washed away the sand, it removed some of my sorrow.

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