Thursday, January 9, 2014

Komye Homecoming (by Ms. Penniman)

A special magic guided our delegation to all arrive in Port-au-Prince safe and concurrently, despite the cancelled flights and weather rescheduling that threatened turmoil. A warm welcome by Fritz's team and his 3 vehicles ensured a smooth passage to Leogane for all 20 delegates, young and grown. The homecoming dinner with Mango Grower's Association partners was tearful and enthusiastic. Adele was acknowledged as the "mother of all of us" having guided her children and grandchildren back to Ayiti and holding the container for the creation of Ayiti Resurrect. We raised a collective intention that our combined efforts will strengthen the beauty, power, and resilience of our beloved Komye.

Today was orientation day - an overview of the educational system, health conditions, agriculture, and arts in the Komye Community. Of note was the fact that the herbal medicine walk covered only a few feet of the path due to an incredible density of useful plants with arms reach of the guide. For example, Pwa Kongo is an edible bean and the leaves are used for stomach ache, spiritual cleansing, and lead poisoning. We learned about a ceremony called Pilifere where singing and dancing accompany the pounding of dried herbs into a medicinal powder. Msye Difranz pointed out that while Haitian culture has a bad reputation in the media, its basic tenets  - healing, respect, family - are shared with other religions and cultures.

After lunch, we had a combination of planning meetings and a dancing workshop. All of the student delegates made a valiant and sincere effort to grasp the subtle, powerful steps of the folkloric dance. Naima, Jasmine, and I tore it up, bare feet to dusty earth, big smiles. We made the necessary preparations for the health and dental clinics being held tomorrow, workshops on arts and sustainability in Bigonet School, mango dryer design and materials inventory, etc. The student delegates made instant best friends with young residents when they brought out the crayons and coloring pages.

Having worked hard all day, we still managed a late night meeting with the Mayor of Komye to plan for a huge performing arts event Tuesday evening in the town center. Dancers, singers, and actors from Leogane and from our delegation will collaborate to manifest this international tribute to beauty and resilience.

And so many magic moments in between...

A whole tap tap full of delegates singing and dancing on route from Komye to Leogane.
Children climbing together in the big tree, needing no language, save the language of play.
The student delegates already gaining an expanded perspective on the areas of growth of their own culture and society in the context of the global community.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, 20 people! It's growing fast! It's strange reading about the trip, instead of writing about it... I wish you all the best!
    ~Alysha G.