Connecting the Dots

This past week, I started an online course called Storytelling for Change. It is offered for free by Acumen and The Ariel Group. The first assignment was to create a life map, capturing key milestones that have led you to be passionate about a social cause.

I often look back over my life and think about certain events that have occurred that have led me to where I am today. There are many things I didn’t understand as they were happening. There were some moments that, when looked at individually, seemed to have nothing to do with my dreams and desires. And there were many disappointments and challenges along the way. But when I look at the whole picture, I can clearly see that nothing that has happened in my life has been random. 

my life map.001

Edited to omit recent employers.

Reading the school lunch menu over the intercom in 7th grade prepared me for a local radio interview I did last year on International Women’s Day. It’s no coincidence that my high school French teacher is Haitian and 17 years later I found myself in Haiti. Paying off all of my debt financially prepared me for unemployment several months later. Having an employment opportunity rescinded led to my current job in a town I never thought I’d live in, which is putting me into position to fulfill some lifelong dreams. 

Completing my life map reinforces my belief that God is directing my steps and He has a divine purpose for my life. I can take great comfort in knowing that, even though I may not always understand and the path is not always direct or logical, He will never lead me astray. I can’t wait to see how this life map continues to develop.

Four Years Later

Seeing the devastating impact of the January 12, 2010 earthquake up close and personal is something I will never forget. As I woke up this morning and began reflecting on the events that happened four years ago today, one of the many things I thought about was this blog. Much like my original journey to Haiti, Se Lavi began out of a tragic event. But it evolved into so much more. It became a place for me to share with others the joy, beauty and magic of Haiti, alongside the challenges and devastating realities of living in a developing country.

As I often say, I’ve received more from Haiti than I’ve given. It’s the reason I feel obligated in a sense to be an “ambassador” for the country. I jump at the chance to talk about my experiences with people who’ve seen first-hand what Haiti is like, as well as those whose only knowledge is what they’ve seen on television or via social media. I want people to remember Haiti not just once a year on the anniversary of the earthquake, but year round.

And so, I’m re-launching this blog. Though I’ve been back in the United States for about 18 months, Haiti remains a significant part of my day-to-day life. I still have a lot to say and a lot to share about navigating the ups and downs of life. Stay tuned.