Slide show/video reel by Christine Joy Ferrer

Earlier this year in April, I embarked on a two-week cultural exchange trip to Haiti hosted by Daniel “Brav” Brevil, musical director of Rara Tou Limen. This slide show/video reel is part two of a three-part project, as I try to boil all my personal reflections about my two-week cultural exchange experience in Haiti to a photo essay, a short video, and a written reflection.

I dedicate this slide show video/reel to Sephora, Daniel’s nine-year-old daughter. Sephora taught me so much. She’s so mini, you’d think she was a mere five or six years old. Her big smile and precious joy could brighten any room. The best part was that she didn’t know English. I was forced to practice the little Kreyol I do know (or Spanish, she spoke that too). She corrected my kreyol mispronunciations and we’d pantomime the rest. In the little time we knew each other, she managed to finish my sentences with her body/hand gestures.

Rooftop Dance // In the moments we played and danced together, words were never needed. We drummed, we danced, we sang. For the first time, it really hit me that words are overrated and your actions can be communication enough. She captured my heart on so many levels and I can’t wait to see her again.

Now, I only wish I could have captured better video footage and more of it. But, thank you Daniel Brevil, Laurie Gundling, Tamika Harris, Halima Marshall and Rayna Wiles for sharing some of your goodies with me.

Mesi Anpil to our all Haitian dance and song instructors who taught us at Ecole Nationale des Arts d’Haïti (ENARTS) in Port Au Prince, Gerda, Ramses, Ferlo, Mac-elie, and Sanba Zaro; and to Rara Tou Limen, ENARTS, FOSAJ, Daniel “Brav” Brevil and Portsha Jefferson. A special thank you to all the 2014 cultural exchange donors and supporters and to the families that fed and housed us in Gonaives, and to Daniel’s family and dear friends that took good care of us and cooked delicious Haitian meals for our hungry tummies. Ayibobo!

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