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Oh Ayiti…

There are no words we really have tonight to express the sorrow and dread we feel for our Caribbean sisters and brothers in Haiti after the earthquake which hit hours ago.

I’m sure every true Caribbean person felt the same way: “Why Haiti? Of all places, why Haiti?”

Is like … oh gawd nah… dey cyan get a lil bligh? Not even a lil one?

We’re heartbroken. We’re afraid of what horrors daylight will reveal. We’re vex and want to shake our fists at the powers that be, both spiritual and temporal, who seem to have turned their backs on Toussaint and Dessalines’ proud republic.

And the lyrics of the bard of Trinidad David Rudder’s song rings even truer tonight in our heads.

Haiti we’re sorry,

Haiti we’re so sorry.

One day we’ll turn our heads

Restore your glory.

Mwen desole Ayiti.

By Me

island ~ ista
From Latin -ista via Portuguese -ista
one who follows a principle; an adept.

As an islandista I live, embody, exude the spirit of the Caribbean islands.

3 replies on “Oh Ayiti…”

You took the words out of my mouth, down to the David Rudder song. It breaks my heart whenever Haiti goes through some new trial.

[…] 6. A hair-raising story from the US struck a chord with Caribbean women. Another one of the more enduring and popular posts on Islandista was our 2013 post ‘Dear Tiana Your School Is Wrong‘. In it, we took on a report from the US of a little girl who was harassed out of her (black-run!) charter school because she chose to wear dreadlocks, one of many hairstyles (including afros) that the school deemed faddish and inappropriate. We looked at it through our Caribbean lens where many of our leading women proudly sport similar hairstyles and are not thought of as any less brillant because of the hair that grows out of their head. 7. Islandista grew up. Can I be honest? Sometimes I look back at a few of the early posts on Islandista and I cringe a bit. Ugh, so vapid, so immature! But hey I was. Not neccesarily immature for the age I was but less mature than I am now. After all, when I started Islandista, I was 25 years old and barely two years out of grad school. Now? Well, as the clock hit 12:00 am on January 1st, I realised that this year will mark 18 years since I entered university. In other words, someone who was born on the PRECISE, EXACT day I entered the gates of Preston Hall for orientation at the University of the West Indies, Mona (by the way – best hall, best campus – this is not up for debate), a kid who is an August baby like myself, could be entering UWI this year. It’s legit giving me a third-life crisis – because I’m too old for a quarter-life crisis and damn it, too young for a mid-life crisis! 8. Islandistas rose to the top in almost every talent contest we entered. Over the years, we cheered on, tuned in and became rabid wagonists for Project Runway, The Voice and Top Chef as islandistas Anya Ayoung-Chee, Tessanne Chin and Nina Compton showed the world how Caribbean women can shine. It was a blast. 9. Haiti was devastated by the 2010 earthquake. It is as painful to remember now as it was to experience then. We covered the twists and turns of the immediate aftermath but our first post on the night of the quake, still sums it is up ‘ mwen desole Ayiti‘. […]

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