It is the morning after: I am sipping iced coffee as I lay in bed with a euphoria that can only be described as Bouje hangover. As I endeavor to unhinge my writer’s block and curtail the last 3 days into a single blog post, the sounds of Young life in Haiti are unyielding: the pitter patter of little feet, the banter of little voices, the clang of dishes being washed by hand, a rooster—they echo in unison “the show must go on”. It is just after 8am
and the floors are already swept and mopped. Two little babies with abounding energy, already dressed and undressed, playing happily outside in their pool. It is a glimpse into my sister’s life: A wife, a mother, a leader. A Her work is never done, her heart exceedingly patient and strong. My awe is renewed once
And so… Like a wave that sweeps through the ocean, peaking,
and then dissolving onto shore, Bouje Ko Pou Gen Bon Sante swept over me. My belief is that its message has drowned the hearts of its attendees, and my fervent hope is that it will spill over into the lives of their families and friends. As I watched Bouje unfold it was difficult, at times, to ignore the language barrier—my desire to connect with the women so strong, my Creole entirely weak. In the end it didn’t matter, the telltale signs of basic human emotion—joy, excitement, understanding—clearly universal, and so much bigger
than me. I witnessed the enthusiasm of participants grow increasingly more candid by the third day, the comradery cultivated, the questions asked in earnest.
Day 2 and 3 covered a lot of information. Of the interactive
portions, we preformed basic physical exams recording blood pressure, blood sugar, height, and weight. Lauren led exercises targeting various parts of the body and why they are important. Educational components included spiritual devotion and covered nutrition information, capitalizing on simple alternatives to cut down on trans fats, sodium, and sugar intake. Lauren also shared the
recipes for the food she prepared: potato salad that used avocado in place of mayonnaise, “sauce militon” (similar to applesauce), and 3 types of muffins.
Concluding seminar, the women were given an opportunity to
ask any lingering questions, invited to attend Saturday morning Zumba (an exercise group Lauren started almost year ago that has grown leaps and bounds, and I anticipate will multiple tenfold in light of Bouje) and presented with a certificate of completion. In a heartfelt gesture Lauren and I were presented a thank you note signed by each of the women. Mine reads, “Thank you…from a heart
that was touched by your thoughtfulness.” Ah, no, Bouje ladies, it is my heart that is touched. It is my heart that is touched indeed. Mesi, mesi, mesi