When My Stomach Leads The Way

Last week I was in Haiti for only four days, and within that short time, I was able to do most of what I wanted to do, though I was not able to eat everything that I wanted. We had stayed at the Kinam Hotel, and I would recommend it to everyone; however, this is not about hotels, this post is on my stomach. FOOD! Here are five places to check out if you are looking for amazing food that will fill that empty void.

  1. Cafe du Commerce also known as Les Cascades; located in Petionville, to be frank, everything on their menu is delicious. Their service is phenomenal. I was first introduced to them two years ago when I held a surprise birthday party for someone extraordinary, not only was I not there to witness this but they left a great impression that I had to go myself last year and this year to experience excellent customer service and food.
  2. ZEST; also located in Petionville is a lounge and restaurant. The innovated spin of traditional Haitian dishes will make you want to ask the young chef for his recipes; trust me I’ve tried and may one day get cooking lessons.
  3. ZAZEN Sports Bar; located in Fermathe. One thing, you have to try the bull-testicle soup, it will change your life.
  4. La Reserve Hotel; located in Petionville. They have the best lambi (conch), it could have been that particular night, but it was the best texture, taste, and just the right amount seasoning. Pikliz has never been my friend and that night; I tried it. Sweet and spicy, then the devil’s gate open…tears were trickling down my cheek and water was not helping.
  5. Saving the best for last; you cannot be traveling for food without eating from the street vendors. To some it’s health-hazardous; however, to many it orgasmic you’re scared that you may get sick. Before knocking this off your list, go the mache near Royal Oasis Hotel in Petionville and try their BBQ chicken. You will thank me because I can still remember the taste of that juicy smoked BBQ chicken with yam. That man can cook.

P.S. I failed to mention that everything is ORGANIC.



So I’ve made a 🍆 appointment, and he doesn’t like to use condoms.

Tell him he must. Have him purchase some, or you buy them

It’s odd that some women are still uncomfortable with the idea of buying condoms. Maybe it’s related to how we were brought up growing up; that sex was not a topic covered at home, that we had to learn at school or from other walks-of-life. Woman sexuality in some communities is still seen as nonexistence. What…did you think that we got pregnant without being sexual, or that we don’t enjoy this act. My mother went on a rant when she discovered my sister’s “toys;” to her, my sister had become a “lesbian,” that her daughter is lost to the world. More cries of “Jesus, save this child” and the most straight face on my part.

At that moment the role was reversed, I became the parent, and my mother became the child. The stubborn Haitian woman, who is set in her ways. “Manmi, you’re being dramatic. No, manmi, she’s not a lesbian, why would that be a problem? She’s young, she’s a woman, and she’s learning about her body. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

There is a fear, humiliation, and anxiety that comes when you pick up that box of condom and put it in front of the cashier. “Shit, I’m being judged! What if someone I know sees me? Shit, what if my mother/father walks at this exact moment, damn, now the world knows I’m sexually active.” This leaves us with running into a wall just with the thought. The fear that this evokes, we want to be safe, there’s nothing wrong with that, and we shouldn’t feel ashamed of that.

Fè Respè W

In recent news, the President of the United States singled out Haiti, El Salvador and parts of Africa as “shithole countries” during a rant about immigration Thursday.

To be honest, I am not surprised, yes it hurts, yes it disgraceful, and it is also Racist. We had this conversation at work, and it has opened my eyes in many ways; “our parents have brought us here for a better life, but we are trying to go back to get our footing.”  What he said is his truth and the truth of many people living in the United States, and many of us already knew this. What the President “value” is not what Haitians value; we value family, education, our history, culture, nature, and religion, we don’t value what this President value. Yes, we know Haiti is poor, but there is a reason why it is poor, and the United States played a role in it as much as others. We know the problems Haiti has so, please save your breath. Our Haiti Cherie is our home, and this is the perfect time to start making moves. We are not looking for validation that we are not a “shithole country;” however, we Haitians NEED to do our part. L’union fait la force is our motto so let’s stick to this. Action speaks louder than words.  

2018: The Year of Not Giving A F&%*

So, you want to leave your job but wish to be discreet in your search. First, why are you looking elsewhere? Are you not happy where you are now? As millennials, we simply don’t fall in the same box as our parents did; we have multiple degrees, and are well skilled. However, most of us are not happy. So, where do you go from here?

  • One: Create a goal.
  • Two: If you plan to use LinkedIn for your job search, BLOCK your employer. I, for one, don’t want them in my business.
  • Three: You’ve decided to leave the United States and pursue your goals in another country, but you don’t have enough savings, and you have no idea how you’ll make it, wherever that is. First, snap out of it. If you need a couple of slaps, I got you. Woosa, go back to that plan of yours, and start reaching out to people you know who live there. Your anxiety level will be high until you’ve survived one month in that country, but it will be worth it. This experience will help you decide whether or not it’s worth going back to the States.
  • Four: If you plan to move to a different job, BLOCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK your employer in every social media outlet, edit your resume, and start sending it to places you are interested in.
  • Five: If that’s not an option, you want to work for yourself, and have enough savings to last you six months to a year, go for it. You are the only person who is standing in your way.

How To Travel With a Solo Traveler

With only four days in the New Year, you are most likely thinking about your next adventure. Where will you go? Where will you stay? What will you do? And who will you go with? If you like group traveling, please plan ahead, by now you should know who is reliable, who can be in your circle; however, there’s always an oddball. That one friend who loves being by themselves and even travel solo every chance that they get. So how do you survive them? Or even how do you convince them of being part of a group trip.

Well, let’s be honest, if they attend your group trip it’s because they love you and they would like to at least make you happy on that special occasion but as a solo traveler myself we are dying inside. We really don’t like to create an itinerary simply because it restricts us from experiencing the city we are in. Yes, we do plan ahead, where we purchase our plane ticket and made all our hotel reservation or train passes, but, the minute we land we are in our zone. Check in the hotel, shower, change, and head out, we don’t sleep when we travel (especially me) and in a weekend trip, I will experience more than someone who only spent a week. Solo travelers hate to be put in a box, so when we are not vocal when you are telling us what you want to do our brain is running ten-miles per hour trying to not ruin this for you.

If you haven’t traveled by yourself, you are missing out on a lot and if it’s not your cup of tea, don’t judge someone who absolutely adores it.  Nevertheless, if you do have a solo traveler in your group, allow them to be free.


Religious nonprofits in Haiti

Let’s discuss Religious nonprofits in Haiti. Let’s take a minute and woosa. An NGO should respect religious freedom, “Everyone has the right of freedom of thought, conscience, and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance.” (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 18) Nearly all NGOs are faith-based organizations where they “serve in an area most widely known for witchcraft and voodoo.”  Now if you are someone who thinks Voodoo is of the devil, that Haiti is the way it is because it worships the devil, please take the time to learn your history and a little more about the religion you so dearly cherish. #lavagedecerveauenhaiti

My Mother the Wolf

For a woman as strong as her, her wounds are as deep as the depth of hell.

She shelters her kids to protect them from the type of pain she had to endure only to get stabbed by one of her cubs.

She never says this, but she is hurting inside.

She misses her little cub, but she also has pride.

As she likes to say “I will never bend down to her, she’s the child, and I’m the parent.”

This exists in the many communities where the parent feels as if they are never at fault, that there’s no need for an apology, that they are never wrong.

As her cub, we watch as she leaks he wounds as new ones are taking shape.

She is tired, she is lonely, and she is ferocious.

You see my mother the wolf as strong as she is can never accept her weakness which is she can’t do it all and that her cubs are growing up and need to make their own decisions.

Get Over It

Eureka you’ve failed!

The harsh reality of accountability.

Are nonprofits operating in Haiti held accountable for their failures?

According to Article 29 of the 1989 decree, “in case of violation of the Constitution or the provisions of this Decree, unjustified Business interruption for more than six (6) consecutive months of delay of up to one year startup programs and projects calculated from the date of publication of the Communiqué granting recognition, except in cases of force up to date proven participation in political, commercial activities and any other activities incompatible with the status of NGOs there shall be to withdraw recognition awarded to the offending Organization.” Chapter five continues to explain the obligations of NGOs once their status has been revoked. To have lost your status as an NGO means that you have failed the donors, board members/directors, and the community you were serving. No, you have not failed the government because you are not a government entity, they merely reprimand you for your actions. The government should not feel that you or your organization OWE THEM in any way, you are required to follow the laws of the land you operate in and are obligated by your actions to support ethics to protect and cultivate your community.

So where do you go from here, losing the status of your organization, being prohibited from operating or being in the country? The MPCE (Ministere de la Planification et Cooperation Externe)  has not specified on steps for when this happens, what will happen to the community that you have served? Who will take responsibility? They leave a gray area for disaster, so what can you do?

Yes, get over it. You’ve tried, and you’ve failed. Take responsibility and own up to it and put your truth out there.You may never want to be active in another nonprofit in Haiti again, but there are other options, create a (social) business, donate to active nonprofits, and fight for the revision of the 1989 decree.

Haiti did not set out to be a charity case-Accountability

So you have set out to establish a nonprofit organization in Haiti, whether a grassroot or an international organization. Everything was set. You obtained grants and donations from all corners of the world as well from family and friends; however, you failed. Where do you go from here? Is your organization accountable? Do you stop providing help to that community? Or are you doing this for the right reason?

To answer you, nonprofits are accountable to multiple constituencies, including donors, the public, their boards of directors and staff, partners and the people they serve or represent.

What is accountability?

The fact that we have to define accountability is a problem, nevertheless, we need to remind each other to take responsibility for our actions, good or bad.

Accountability is promoted within our own community in several different ways:

  • PVO Standards: Private Voluntary Organization (PVO) Standards – These standards help ensure accountability in the vital areas of financial management, fundraising, governance and program performance.
  • Monitoring & Evaluation: M&E are separate practices dedicated to the assessment of your NGO’s overall performance. Monitoring is a systematic and long-term process that gathers information regarding the progress made by an implemented project. Evaluation is time-specific and is performed to judge whether a project has reached its goals and delivered what was expected according to the original plan.
  • Transparency: Transparency is a precondition for accountability. The condition of transparency in NGOs is to provide for financial clarity that will help preserve the very-important trust each donor places in a nonprofit with each contribution and is transparent to those you serve and the government.

In addition, to promote accountability within your organization and as an individual will then ensure NGOs are more transparent about how aid is spent and hold them accountable for achieving development results.